2021, vol. 9, no. 2. Antonov I.V.
2021, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 438-450
Institute of Ethnological Studies named after R.G. Kuzeev
of the Ufa Federal Research Center of Russian Academy of Sciences
Ufa, Russian Federation
Abstract: Research objectives: This article analyzes a new book by independent historian, Valery Zlygostev, written in the historical, biographical genre. The book is dedicated to outstanding figures in the medieval history of the Mongols, their allies, and opponents, as have been preserved in written sources. It discusses the territories eventually covered by the Mongol Empire, stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, during the period from the eighth to thirteenth century. Zlygostev traced the process of the establishment of Mongolian statehood, the formation of the Mongol Empire, and the expansion of its borders until the end of the era of conquests in the 1270s. The author reconstructs the biographies of all the characters of this period on the basis of the Mongol chronicle of c. 1240, traditionally called the “Secret History,” alongside other sources.
The scholarly novelty of the research lies in the presentation of the secondary and tertiary heroes of Mongolian history and their role in various military and political events that culminated in the creation of the greatest world empire in history. Particular attention is paid to the so-called “dark” period in the history of the Mongols stretching until the middle of the twelfth century, that is, the period of Chinggis Khan’s birth. This period is still insufficiently analyzed in historiography and yet is very important for clarifying the prerequisite conditions which brought about the subsequent unification of Mongolia and the conquests of Chinggis Khan and his successors in Asia and Europe.
The author has done a tremendous job of analyzing all available sources and identifying all possible details of the biography of certain heroes. The book is recommended for everyone interested in the medieval history of Eurasia.
Keywords: heroes of the “Secret History”, history of the Mongols, Middle Ages
For citation: Antonov I.V. Book Review: Zlygostev V.A. Geroi “Sokrovennogo skazaniya” [Heroes of the “Secret History”]. Zolotoordynskoe obozrenie=Golden Horde Review. 2021, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 438–450. DOI: 10.22378/2313-6197.2021-9-2.438-450
- Zlygostev V.A. Subedey. Vsadnik, pokoryavshiy vselennuyu [Subedei. Rider Who Conquered the Universe]. Ufa: Design Poligraph Service, 2011. 396 p. (In Russian)
- Zlygostev V.A. Tohtamysh [Toqtamïsh]. Ufa: Design Press, 2012. 472 p. (In Russian)
- Zlygostev V.A. I nagryanula chernaya rat’… Mongol’skoe zavoevanie Yuzhnogo Urala (1205–1245) [“And black army raided …”. Mongol conquest of the Southern Urals (1205–1245)]. Ufa: Kitap, 2015. 132 p. (In Russian)
- Ivanov V.A., Zlygostev V.A., Antonov I.V. Yuzhnyy Ural v epokhu srednevekov’ya (V-XVI veka n. e.) [The Southern Urals in the Middle Ages (from the fifth to sixteenth century)]. Ufa: Bashkir State Pedagogical University, 2013. 280 p. (In Russian)
- Ivanov V.A., Zlygostev V.A. Jeto byli bashkiry… [These Were the Bashkirs]. Ufa: Kitap, 2017. 128 p. (In Russian)
- Karpov A.Ju. Batyy [Batu]. Second edition. Moscow: Young guard, 2017. 348 p. (In Russian)
- Kozin S.A. Sokrovennoe skazanie: mongol’skaya khronika 1240 g. pod nazvaniem Mongyol-un niyuca tobciyan. Yuan’ chao bi shi: mongol’skiy obydennyy izbornik, Vol. I: Vvedenie v izuchenie pamyatnika, perevod, teksty, glossarii [The Secret History of the Mongols: Mongolian Chronicle of 1240 Titled Mongyol-un niyuca tobciyan, Vol. 1: Introduction to the Study of the Monument, Translation, Texts, Glossaries]. Moscow; Leningrad: Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences, 1941. 611 p. (In Russian)
- Kuzeev R.G. Proiskhozhdenie bashkirskogo naroda: etnicheskiy sostav, istoriya rasseleniya [Origin of the Bashkir People: Ethnic Composition, History of Resettlement]. Moscow: Nauka, 1974. 571 p. (In Russian)
- Pochekaev R.Ju. Uzurpatory i samozvantsy “stepnykh imperiy”: istoriya tyurko-mongol’skikh gosudarstv v perevorotakh, myatezhakh i inostrannykh zavoevaniyakh [Usurpers and Impostors of the “Steppe Empires”: History of the Turkish-Mongol States in the Coups, Riots, and Foreign Conquests]. St. Petersburg: Eurasia, 2016. 378 p. (In Russian)
- Sokrovennoe skazanie mongolov [The Secret History of the Mongols]. Chingisiana: svod svidetel’stv sovremennikov [Chinggisiana: Compilation of Testimonies of Contemporaries]. Melehin A. (tr.). Moscow: Eksmo, 2009, pp. 17–356. (In Russian)
- Starinnoe mongol’skoe skazanie o Chingiskhane [Old Mongolian Tale of Chinggis Khan]. Archimandrite Palladij (tr.). Trudy chlenov Rossiyskoy dukhovnoy missii v Pekine [Works of Members of the Russian Spiritual Mission in Beijing]. St. Petersburg, 1866, vol. 4, pp. 3–260. (In Russian)
- Tataro-mongoly v Azii i Evrope: sbornik statej [The Tatar-Mongols in Asia and Europe: Collected Papers]. Tikhvinskiy S.L. (ed.). Second edition. Moscow: Nauka, 1977. 503 p. (In Russian)
- Tizengauzen V. Sbornik materialov, otnosyashchikhsya k istorii Zolotoy Ordy, T. 1: Izvlecheniya iz sochineniy arabskikh [Collection of Materials Relating to the Golden Horde’s History, Vol. I: Extracts from the Arabic Writings]. St. Petersburg, 1884. xvi + 564 p. (In Russian)
- Allsen T.T. Mongol Imperialism: The Policies of the Grand Qan Mongke in China, Russia, and the Islamic lands, 1251–1259. Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press, 1987. 278 p.
- Atwood C.P. Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. Bloomington: Indiana University, 2004. 678 p.
- The Secret History of the Mongols: A Mongolian Epic Chronicle of the thirteenth century. Rachewiltz I. de (tr.). Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2006, vol. 1–2. cxxvii + 1349 p.
- The Secret History of the Mongols: A Mongolian Epic Chronicle of the thirteenth century. Rachewiltz I. de (tr.). Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2013, vol. 3. xvi + 226 p.
About the author: Igor V. Antonov – Cand. Sci. (History), Senior Research Fellow of the Department of the Archaeological Heritage of the Southern Urals, Institute of Ethnological Studies named after R.G. Kuzeev of the Ufa Federal Research Center of Russian Academy of Sciences (6, Karl Marx Str., Ufa 450077, Russian Federation). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received March 16, 2021 Accepted for publication May 28, 2021
Published Online June 29, 2021