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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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Anglo-Saxons in Genghis Khan's Fate

When developing the theme of the development of Siberia and the Far East by the Anglo-Saxons the question arose about their fate during the existence of the world empire of Genghis Khan. To some extent, they should have been affected by the process of its occurrence simply because of their presence not far from its original location. Moreover, the creation of the Mongol ulus in the 12-13th centuries was not prepared by the previous history of the nomadic Mongol tribes.

In the XII century, the tribes, shepherds and hunters, who later became known as the Mongols, lived in a kindred system, divided into separate clans (omuks), which, in turn, were divided into bones (yasuns). Sometimes separate related clans united among themselves and formed a special tribe, a people (ulus). Who was a separate member, a separate family or bone in relation to the clan, that same clan was in relation to the tribe (ulus) or tribal union (el) (VLADIMIRTSOV B.Ya. 1922: 11).

In addition, the Mongols were significantly inferior in quantitative terms to the neighboring peoples. According to various sources at the beginning of the 13th cent. about 700 thousand people lived in Mongolia, 80 million in China, in the Khorezm sultanate – about 20 million, in Eastern Europe – about 28 million (GUMILYOV L.N. 1977: 74). The short-term existence, role, and significance of the Mongolian empire for subsequent history are also very intriguing to historians:

The problem of the creation of a world empire by Genghis Khan still remains unresolved. Undoubtedly, “the question of Genghis Khan and his legacy requires an objective consideration”, but is it possible at the present level of our knowledge? It would seem that the answer should be affirmative: sources on the topic have been published and translated into European languages, most of them have a reference commentary attached, there are bibliographic summaries of so many works that the most diligent scientist cannot read. However, a single critical summary is missing. It is easy to refer to any source, but there is no certainty that the truth is written there, especially since the descriptions of the same events in different sources are very different from each other. This is especially true of the most important topic, the formation of the Mongolian state before Kurultai 1206 (GUMILYOV L.N. 1970: 455).

Since the time these lines were written, little has changed. As L.N. Gumilyov noted, the only sources used to reconstruct the events of the early history of the Mongolian state are the official version, which passed strict government censorship, and the work of the unknown author "The Secret History of the Mongols". Attitude to both sources is critical and therefore the interpretation of the events described in them is not devoid of conjectures and assumptions. However, other information may be used to solve this problem. In particular, such information was obtained by an empirical synthesis of research results based on the grapho-analytical method. The ancestral homeland of the Anglo-Saxons in Eastern Europe was found with its help, and the further outline of their history was woven according to toponymy and indirect evidence. In particular, the Anglo-Saxons played a role in the formation of the Russian state, but for some reason, some of them had to migrate beyond the Urals and further eastward. The movement of the Anglo-Saxons across the expanses of Siberia to the Far East is said, for example, by the following place names:

Verkhby and Nizhny Tagil on th Tagil River in Sverdlovsk Region – OE. tægel "tail".

Chetkarino, a Village in Pyshma town district of Sverdlovsk Region – OE. ciete "cabin, closet", carr "rock".

Vagina, a village in rural settlement Yurminskoye in Tyumen Region – OE. wagian "to move, shake".

Atrachi, a village on the shore of the lake of the same name in the Tyukalinsky district of the Omsk region. – OE. ātor, ætrig "poison", cio "jackdaw".

Verkh-Irmen, a village in the Ordynsky district of the Novosibirsk region – OE. iermen "grait, strong".

Salair, a town in the urban district of the town of Guryevsk in Kemerovo Region – OE. sala "sale, selling", iere, ōra "ore". In the town there is a mining and processing plant extracting and producing gold, silver, zinc, lead.

At right: Picture of an owl . Drawing from the site Babyblog.

Barnaul, the administrative center of the Altai Krai – OE. byrne "breastplate", ūle "owl". Plumage of an owl resembles chain mail (see the picture on the right). Obviously, the city made armor like "owl".

Tuim, a village in the Shirinsky district of Khakassia – OE. twinn "double, twin".

Bolshaya Irba, an urban settlement in the Kuraginsky district of the Krasnoyarski Krai – OE. ierfa, Ger. Erbe "heritage".

Gagul', a village in Ermakovski district of the Krajanoyarski Krai – OE. gāgul "throat, maw".

Orlik, a village, the administrative center of Okinsky district of Buryatia – OE. orlege "fight, war".

Gida, a village in the Dzhidinsky district of Buryatia – OE. giedd "singing, poem".

Selenga, a village on the bank of the river of the same name in Tarbagatay district of Buryatia – OE syle(n) "morass", - "district".

At left: The delta of the Selenga River

Ust'-Bryan', a village in Zaigraevsky district of Buryatia – OE. bryne "fire".

Kizhinga, a village, the administrative center of the Kizhinginsky district of Buryatia – OE. *cieging "calling" from ciegan "to call".

Dauria, the historical and geographical region within the modern Republic of Buryatia, the Trans-Baikal Krai and the Amur Region – OE. deor, Eng. deer.

Daursky Nature Reserve. Dzerans. Photo by E. Kokukhin .

Khilok, a town in the Trans-Baikal Krai – OE. *hillock from hill "hill", Eng. hillock.

Duldurga, a village in the Trans-Baikal Krai – OE. đylđ "suffer", wœrig "tiredness".

Chita, a city, the administrative center of the Trans-Baikal Krai – OE. ciete "cabin, closet".

Tynda, a town in the Amur Region. tind "top, point", tinde "tensioned".

Tygda, a village in the Magdagachi district of the Amur Region – OE. tigde "receiver, partner".

This strip of place names stretches along the border of the forest and steppe and, evidently, marks a convenient route for moving eastward. Russia's conquest of Siberia in the 17th cent occurred surprisingly very quickly. After the campaign of Yermak Timofeyevich, only eleven years passed but the city of Tomsk was laid almost two thousand kilometers from the Urals. Overcoming such a distance off-road would be absolutely impossible without the use of waterways, but the rivers flow here mainly in the meridional direction. The roads between Anglo-Saxon-based settlements have greatly simplified the moving and the settlements provided the possibility of resting and preparation of food. After 50 years the first jails of Transbaikalia were laid on the site of already existing settlements such as the cities Chita and Nerchinsk at present.

Anglo-Saxon pioneers had much more difficulties than Russian Cossacks had, and their advance to Baikal could last several centuries. In each newly created town, migrants left a small garrison, which eventually was dissolved among the later Turkic population. Given the speed of movement, it can be assumed that the Anglo-Saxons could have appeared in Transbaikalia shortly before the wars of Genghis Khan, who had the name Temujin (Temuchin) at his birth. In this territory, there is a clearly seen cluster of Anglo-Saxon place names, so the core of the Anglo-Saxon tribe was concentrated just here. It can be associated with local folk Merkit of Chinese sources. Of course, this was not the self-name of the newcomers. The Anglo-Saxons retained their European look, therefore they had appearance sharply differed from the local Mongoloids. The historical truth about the personality of Genghis Khan can be restored using the following sources:

1. The extensive work of the Persian writer Rashid-ad-din having compiled at the beginning of the 14th century on the basis of the official Mongolian tradition and the stories of the guardians of Mongolian antiquity.

2. The Secret History of the Mongols, having written down in the 13th century in Mongolia and made public in the 14th century in China.

3. The official history of the Mongol dynasty having compiled in the XIV century in Chinese.

4.Works of Muslim historians contemporaries of the Mongol invasion (VLADIMIRTSOV B.Ya. 1922: 7).

The "Secret History of the Mongols" describes an event that not only confirms the assumption about the Caucasoid appearance of Genghis Khan but also gives reason to talk about his Anglo-Saxon origin. The first known translation of the Legend into Russian was made in 1866 by Archimandrite Pallady (in the world Kafarov P.I.), who was the head of the spiritual mission in Beijing for several years. The translation is considered inaccurate by specialists, however, for the sake of completeness, the corresponding passage from it can be cited:

… Genghis's father, Esugaibaatur, hunting with a falcon near the Onan River, saw a man from the Merki clan, named Ekecheledu, who was carrying a wife he had taken from the Olkhune clan. Yesugaibaatur, seeing that the woman was a beauty, immediately went home and returned again with his elder brother Nekuntaytsy and younger Daritayotchigin.
When the brothers were approaching, Ekecheledu, seeing them, was frightened, hit his horse and crossed one ridge, went around the mountain cleft, and returned to his wife's cart. His wife said: "The appearance of these three people is very unkind; they will certainly kill you; succeed quickly. If you save your life, let you have a wife like me; if you remember me, then call your other wife by my name." Having said this, she took off her shirt and gave it to him as a keepsake of herself. Ekechiledu, sitting on a horse, had just accepted his shirt, seeing Yesugaibaatura approaching with his brothers, hit the horse, and galloped up the Onan River.
Yesugaibaatur with his brothers chased Ekechiledu; they crossed seven ridges, but, not catching up with him, they returned back…(PALLADIY, arkhimandrit (Kafarov). 1909-1910).

The description of this episode was also taken by me from the literal English translation of the History. It contains the father of Genghis Khan, who, with the help of two brothers, took away from one noble Merkit named Yeke Čiledü his wife Hö'elün Üjin , was called Yesügei Ba'atur and there it says that in appearance the kidnappers were other [in countenance] than all the others (CLEAVES FRANCIS WOODMAN, 1982: 12). In free translations (retellings), the word "other" is not taken into account and therefore they usually refer to the expression on the faces of the brothers, which supposedly betrayed their intention to take Čiledü's life. Facial expressions vary and do not always warn of danger. On the contrary, a different appearance, as a constant feature, indicates belonging to an alien tribe that can be hostile, and this is already dangerous. From the text, it is quite clear that Hö'elün herself suggested that Čiledü run away, but first, she asked if he had noticed a different (unusual) appearance of strangers. And it was their appearance that aroused her suspicion and served as the reason for advising her husband to flee. In addition, Yesügei, at first glance at Hö'elün, also drew attention to her unusual beauty for the Mongols, which attracted him to her (ibid). Onon Urgunge even writes that "he saw a woman of unique color and complexion" (ONON URGUNGE. 2001, 54). In a situation where a woman struck Yesügei with her beauty, the expression on his face could not be intimidating.

Describing the same episode, another English translator of "The History" indicates that the appearance of the kidnappers was strange (odd), and the woman was unusually beautiful that can be understood in different ways (RACHEWILTZ, IGOR de. 2015, 10). This unusual incident played a decisive role in the history of the Mongols. There is historical evidence that Genghis Khan was fair-haired and blue-eyed, but Rashid ad Din wrote that even all his descendants were "mostly blue-eyed and red" (RASHID-al-DIN, FAZALLAH: 49). Genghis Khan could inherit these traits only from his mother, for all Mongols are brunettes. However, blond hair and blue (gray) eyes are inherited approximately as a recessive trait controlled by a single gene, although sometimes they manifest in heterozygotes, as the gene corresponding to the dark hair does not always dominate (HARRISON G.A., 1968, 190). Accordingly, children will surely have these traits if the necessary genes were in the chromosomes of both parents. Therefore, it must be assumed that Hö'elün was already pregnant by Čiledü, also a blond, at the time of her abduction. The description of Hö'elün's abduction could only get into the "The History" from her words. Even its romantic nature speaks of this, but no one could come up with that the kidnappers were different than usual in appearance, and she just wanted to emphasize this circumstance. Thus, we can conclude that the Merkits were blond, just like the Anglo-Saxons.

The name of Yeke Čiledü can be modified OE. geoc "help, consolation" (compare English yoke from the paronym geoc "yoke") and cielde "well, spring" (similar cieldu is "cold"). Thus, the name Yeke Čiledü meant "source of solace". Until now, the name or, more often, the surname Childe, Child is ordinary. Obviously, it was difficult for Mongols to pronounce the sound combination –ld – and therefore epenthesis –e- appeared in it. In the first part of the name of beautiful Hö'lün, one can see OE. heah, which had a meaning not only "tall, great" but also "beautiful, glorious". OE lean "present, gift" from the Gmc. *launa may be seen in the stem of the second part of her name. A small phonetic discrepancy can be explained by the influence of Mongolian pronunciation. The second component of the name Üjin, present also in the name of Temüjin's Börte, was obviously used by the Mongols as a prefix to female names in the meaning of "lady" and can have both Mongolian and Chinese origin (ONON URGUNGE. 2001, 31). Hö'elün originated from the clan of Olqunu'ud which name may have OE. *eolhen from eolh "elk". At present this is a Mongolian tribe, therefore its original name could be distorted. A derivative from OE ōnettan "to anticipate" may be proposed as an option for the second component of the name. Then in general the name of the tribe can mean "originated from the elk".

The meaning of the name Temüjin is mysterious. It can be deciphered taking into account OE team "tribe, family", cyne "royal" or cynn "rank, progeny". However, this name was worn by a Tatar military commander who was captured by Yesügei at the time of the birth of his son, therefore the father allegedly called him so (CLEAVES FRANCIS WOODMAN, 1982, 14). It is doubtful that the Tatar had such a name because it can not be deciphered by means of Turkic languages. In addition, Yesügei had a son named Temüge and a daughter Temülün with the same constituent part of the name team. Thus the second part of the name Theolün lean is the same as that of the mother with the meaning of "gift". All these names have a suffix -ü, which corresponds to OE -u, used to form adjectives from nouns. One might think that the mother gave the names to the children, using the words of her native language.

When Temüjin was nine years old, his father took him to another family with the intention of leaving there for a better acquaintance with the girl Börte with who the son could eventually marry. However, on the way back he was a guest at the feast of the Tatars, who, remembering a long-standing feud, poured slow poison into his drink. Three days later Yesügei died, but before the death, he asked to bring his son back to his mother and this request was fulfilled.

For various reasons, relatives and servants abandoned the orphaned family to the mercy of fate and drove all their cattle. Moreover, fearing the revenge of the growing Temüjin, they made several attempts to deprive him of his life. Need and persecution doomed the unhappy family to constant wandering "along the wild steppes of Transbaikalia". However, Hö'elün was a smart and strong-willed woman, she knew and found new ways to maintain the viability of the family, including the use of plant foods, which is completely not peculiar to the Mongols. Simultaneously, she brought up the boys to be courageous and enduring. The difficult childhood of Temüjin and his brothers is illustrated by dramatic:

Temüjin – the youthful Cenghiz Khan had many duties. The boys of the family must fish the steams they passed in their trek from summer to winter pastures. The horse herds were in their charge, and they were to ride afield after lost animals and to search for new pasture lands. They watched skyline for raiders and spent many a night in the snow without a fire. Of necessity, they learned to keep the saddle for several days at a time, and to go without cooked food for three or four days – sometimes without any food at all (LAMB HAROLD. 1927, 20-21).

Reaching manhood in such conditions, Temüjin, despite poverty, decided to marry rich Börte, and the marriage, indeed, took place. However, soon the Merkits avenging for the abducted once Hö'elün attacked Temüjin's camp, but he could escape with the whole family, except for Börte. The Merkits, not catching Temucin, were satisfied that they captured Börte and gave her to a younger brother of the same Čiledü. The names of the three Merkit who participated in the abduction of Börte are known. They can be deciphered using the Old English language. Consider them in order:

Toqto'a of Uduyit-Merkit – OE. tohte «battle, campaign». The name of the kin of Uduyit can be understood as "skillful hunters" (OE wāđ "pursuit, hunting" witt "mind, awarenessб consciousness").

Dayir-usun of the Uwas-Merkits – a good match with the Old English personal name Dēire (HOLTHAUSEN F. 1974, 71), which is most likely derived from OE diere "dear, valuable, noble". The second part of the name usun should be referred to as the name of the Wusun people, which had a European appearance. The name of the kin of Uwas can mean "wolves", if you correlate it with the plural number of OE Wuffa, recorded in a personal name, which Holthausen refers to OE wulf "wolf" (ibid, 410).

Qa’atai-darmala of the Qa’at-Merkits – both in the name of the Merkit and in the name of the kin Qa’at there can be OE. heah "high, great" and āđ "oath". The second part of the name consists of two words OE darr "daring" and mæle "bowl".

Temüjin managed to free his wife with the help of the patron Khan and a temporary twin brother named Jamuqa, but the firstborn of Juči, born by her, probably was not conceived by him. Nevertheless, Temüjin recognized his son, although the relationship between them was complicated until the earliest death of Joči. Obviously, Temujin still harbored evil on Merkit, and further relations with them confirm this assumption.

Then a long period of wars followed, including with the Merkits, and Jamuqa, after successes in which Temüjin proclaimed a great khan, ruler of all the Mongols, and took the name Genghis Khan. The origin of the name is unclear. The most common version is based on Old Türk. teŋiz "sea", but the motivation for assigning such a name to a great khan in a country, where people have a vague idea of the sea, is in doubt. Taking into account the circumstances of Genghis Khan's birth, the more convincing is the origin of his name from the OE cyning "king" from which originates also Slavic kniaz' of the same meaning. The combination in one name of semantically close words meaning the supreme ruler makes it more significant like a "royal khan", therefore it is very possible. This assumption is all the more convincing, even though the name Temujin and Genghis Khan have the same constituent cyn.

Genghis Khan's success was due not only to his talent as a commander but to organizational reforms in the army, which led to the complete abandonment of waging wars in traditional ways. Among the innovations of Genghis Khan were the iron discipline of his soldiers, thorough reconnaissance, and organization of communications. His unchanged adviser and confidant all her life remained his mother in many ways determined his fate. From childhood, she taught him that he "was obliged to return the family its former shine" (HARA-DAVAN ERENGEN. 1991: 25). As far as the manner of Chenghis Khan's activity was related to his origin, it remains to be seen by scientists. First of all, it is necessary to study the history, language, and customs of the Merkits.

The role of Merkits (Merkids), which we assume to be the Anglo-Saxons, is obvious in the fate of Genghis Khan and this ethnonym can be understood as well as the name of the country populated by them. Using the Old English language, it can be translated as "desert country" (OE mearc "border, boundary, border district", ieđ "deserted, uncultivated"). Apparently, at the time when the Anglo-Saxons appeared in Transbaikalia, there was no sedentary population, and the terrain was suitable for farming. With the help of the Old English language, one can also decipher the ethnonym "Tatars", which originally sounded like "Tartars". The combination of OE teart "severe, strict, strong" and ar "honor, dignity, glory" is well suited to the name of the tribe. It is no accident that the taken in captivity by Yesyugey Tatar was named Temuchin.

Many European historians were confounded with the creation of a great empire from the divided and antagonized Mongolian tribes by Genghis Khan, and even by his personality. Here is one statement that characterizes the overall valuation of this problem, expressed in a rather artistic form:

This empire conjured of nothing by a barbarian, has mystified historians. The most recent history of his era compiled by learned persons in England admits that it is an inexplicable fact. A worthy savant pauses to wonder as “the fateful personality of Genghis Khan, which, at the bottom, we can no more account for the genius of Shakespeare (LAMB HAROLD. 1928: 14).

Genghis Khan was not only a genial commander but also a great reformer and a talented administrator. The power that he built was not at all in the traditions of Eastern despotism, but " was governed on the strict basis of the law, obligatory for everyone, from the head of state and ending with the last citizen" (HARA-DAVAN ERENGEN. 1991: 63). It seems unbelievable that the creation of the empire took place by intuition and without the participation of evolutionary psychology, the carrier of which was the mother of Genghis Khan. This assumption is well confirmed by the fact that after the death of his closest descendants, all the results of his activities, which gave rise to several political and cultural processes in Asia and Europe, did not find continuation in Mongolia itself, and he himself turned into a legendary personality, the memories of which were transmitted mainly in an oral way:

Actually, only the "Secret History of the Mongols", written by an unknown author in 1240, has reached us from Mongolian sources. Such valuable books in the Mongolian language as "Altan Debter" i.e. The golden book of the reign of Genghis Khan, "Yasa" – the code of Genghis Khan, ie. a collection of resolutions that represent the codification of Mongolian customary law, folk customs, and views (it was preserved in the form of scraps from other writers) Bilik – sayings of Genghis Khan (ibid.: 15)

The fact that Genghis Khan was not a Mongol by origin is confirmed by the final conclusion about his activities, made by one of the researchers of his biography:

But, in general, we can say that the plans of Genghis failed: his empire fell, and the Mongols, brought to the wide arena by the power of his military and organizational genius, could not stay on it; they were either absorbed by the more numerous peoples among whom they had to find themselves, or fell back into the state in which they had been before the birth of their brilliant leader (VLADIMIRTSOV B.Ya. 1922. 157).

Thus, an analysis of certain facts of Genghis Khan's life and activity convinces us that he was a completely foreign body in Mongolian society. At present, the ancestors of Genghis Khan are being searched through the study of the population genetics of the peoples of Asia and the analysis of remains of his possible immediate descendants. The results of these studies suggest that some Europeans were among the ancestors of Genghis Khan. There is no doubt that with time, interdisciplinary research will help to establish the ultimate truth.