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An Universal History,from the Earliest Account of Time. Compiled from Original Authors. Volume XX. Book IV. The History of the Turks,Tartars,and Moguls.London. 1748




  • The Tatars were at first called Tatars, a name they deduced from their great ancestor Tatar KhanMoguls received their denomination from Mogul,Mogol, or, according to some, Mung’l, brother to Tatar Khan. These princes founded the puissant empires in the East, which afterwards uniting, became a terror to all their neighbours. It has been observed, that the Tartars settled both in Europe and Asia still retain, as they have always done, among the neighboring nations, their original appellation of Tatars.
  • That the Moguls and Tartars were the descendants of Japhet, the eldest son of Noah, is almost universally agreed. The most learned and judicious writers of all nations, who have had a taste for Oriental literature, have assented to this notion.
  • … the Scythians… have been the descendants of Japhet. For this appears from Herodotus in conjunction with Scripture, and likewise from what we have already observed in the history of the Armenians.
  • As the Turks and Tartars were originally the same people, whatever is advanced concerning the first progenitors, and early antiquities, of the one, must be allowed to be, with the utmost propriety, applicable to those of the other. We may form some notion of the power of this nation from the military achievements of the ancient Scythians, as well as from the vast tract they inhabited.
  • The present of five arrows,sent by Indathyrsus to Darius the Persian monarch, plainly alludes to the number of tribes or cantons united in defense of their country, against the efforts of that prince. These were the Gelonians, Budians, Sarmatians, and the royal tribes conducted by their king… which is likewise countenanced by Herodotus, when he tells us, in his description of Scythia, that beyond the Gherrus were situated… those called the royal tribes. For this seems to imply, that two cantons of Scythians at least must have been governed by kings, or, in the Tartarian language, khans, in the reign of Darius Hystaspis.
  • It may, therefore, be looked upon as highly probable, that both the present Turks and Tartars are descended from the Scythians of Aristeas Proconnesius, and the Scythian Nomads of Herodotus.
  • The Tartars in general at this day live in much the same manner as their progenitors the ancient Scythians and Sarmatians. They rove about in hordes from one fruitful spot to another, not unlike the Scenite Arabs, without villages, towns, or any fixed habitations. This must be understood of the bulk of them; for some cantons, or tribes of the Tartars are not destitute of towns, nor even considerable cities. Caffe, Perecop, Oszakow, Otrar or Farab, Taraz, and Samarkand, to omit many others that might be mentioned, put this beyond dispute.
  • The nation we are now considering were called Scythians only by Greeks, if any credit may be given to Herodotus. The Greeks in the Pontic colonies, hearing their Scythian neighbors frequently call archers, shooters, and hunters, who were very numerous among them, Scyths, Schuten, Shuten, or Scythians, applied that name to the whole nation….This name they seem to have retained till the time of Jengiz Khan. But that prince having reduced all the tribes bearing the name of Turks under his obedience, they with regard to their neighbors, gradually lost it, and were by them afterwards called Tatars. We say with regard to their neighbors, since the largest part of them have always denominated themselves Turks, nor do they allow, that any nation but themselves have the least title to that denomination.
  • The Scythians, according to Herodotus, went among themselves under the name of Scoloten, Scoloti, or Scolotes; as they likewise seem to have done sometimes among the Athenians, who, on certain occasions, used the word Tolotes or Scolotes, as equivalent to Scythians.
  • The ancient Tartars or Mugals named part of the primitive Sarmatians, afterwards denominated HunnsOigur; which denoted allies, confederates, united as brethren, and was sometimes pronounced Vigur. They were divided into two denominations, to wit, Unn-Oigur, and Dokos or Nokos-Oigur, called also Uth-Urguri and Kuith-UrguriIgurai and InugriOnagari and Unigari; from whence undoubtedly we are to derive the word Ungari or Hungarians.
  • The European Scythians had the name of Ojum, Ovim, or Ouim Nim, given them by Jornandes, which answered to the Scythian or Tartar Oyum, or Ovim Nim, the names of two rivers which have their sources in Great Permia.
  • It has been already observed, that the primitive name of the Tartars, according to their own historian Abu’l Ghazi Bahadur Khan, was Turks, which they deduced from Turk the son of Japhet. That of Moguls they either derived from one of their khans called Mogul, or from their great ancestor Magog, the latter of which appears to us the most probable. For Mogli, or Moguli, seems to be only a corruption, or abbreviation, of Magogli, the sons of Magog.
  • As for that of Tartars, or rather Tatars, it might at first have been applied to the Tauri or Tari, from whence the Taurica Chersonesus received its denomination, a particular branch of the ancient Tartars. For, of Tar we may easily form Tatara, or Tatar…And this we take to be a more natural etymon that that produced by the Tartar historian; except it be admitted, that the true name of the prince he takes it from was Tar. In which case we may suppose both the ancient Tauri and Tartars to have received their appellation from one of their early kings, or khans, of the same name.
  • It is observable, that Sharif al Edrisi, commonly called the Nubian geographer, makes no mention either of Moguls or Tartars; but intimates, that all the country at present going under the denomination of Eastern and Western Tartary, was peopled by different cantons of Turks. This is the more remarkable, as that author wrote but a little before the reign of Jengiz Khan, about the year of Christ 1170.
  • With regard to the government of the ancient Tartars, we must suppose it to have been the same, or nearly to, with that of the Scythians already described.It appears from Herodotus, that, in his days, the two principal tribes of the Scythians were under monarchial government; and that they had a great influence upon, if they did not absolutely govern, all the other tribes. This is perfectly agreeable to what we find advanced by the Tartar historian, who informs us, that Alanza Khan had two twin-sons, the one called Tatar, and the other Mogul, between whom, when his end approached, he divided his dominions. The regal families founded by these two khans, according to the same author, ruled the ancient TurksTatars, and Moguls, for several generations; and at length formed a powerful and extensive empire….the twin-brothers Tatar Khan and Mogul Khan,those princes undoubtedly flourished a considerable time before the foundation of the Persian empire…
  • The Agathyrsians, a luxurious nation abounding with gold, had their women in common; which they imagined would promote concord, unanimity, and mutual benevolence, among them.
  • …the ancestors of the Tatars were immersed in idolatry, and they worshiped some of the principal Greek and Roman deities. The celebrated deity Zamolxis was probably worshipped by the Scythians, or ancient Tartars, as well as the Thracians
  • Many of the lower sort of Scythians lived upon horse-flesh and mares-milk, as do at present a great part of the vulgar amongst the Tartars. And that the Moguls used this sort of diet in the time of Ogus Khan, we learn from the Tartar historian.
  • The Scythians that were almost constantly on horseback wore breeches that reached down to their ankles, as many as the Turks and Tartars do at present… Drunkenness was a very fashionable vice among them, according to the Greek writers. Nay, the Persians gave them, from that vice, the name of Saca, or Sakai, which in Persic signified a glutton and a drunkard.
  • However, we ought not to suppose, that all the antient Scythians were totally void of even the least smattering in any of the liberal arts and sciences. History will by no means countenance such a supposition. For, that they had some knowlege of the medicinal virtues of plants, appears from PlinyAnacharjisAbarisand other native Scythians, were famous, even among the Greeks themselves, for their temperance, justice, wisdom, and profound erudition.
  • With regard to the genius and disposition of the ancient Tartars, after what has been observed of the Scythians, we have not much to say. Some of them have been represented as most sublimely virtuous, whilst others have been handed down to us in a quite different light, by the Greek historians. Strabo…that author insinuates, that they had antiently been famous for their justice, continence, and frugality; but had been debauched a little before his time by the Greeks and Romans. Be this as it will, the progenitors of the Tartars in the remoter ages were so extremely rude and barbarous, that by the term Tartarus the Romans seem to have alluded to them.
  • The Tartars themselves deduce their origin from Japhet, or, as they call him, JaphisNui, say they, sent his eldest son Ham to people of the Indies, his second son Sam to inhabit country of Iran, and his youngest son Japhis to settle his family in the territory of Kuttup Shamach. … They tell us, that after he had quitted the mountain where the ark rested, he took up his habitation about the rivers Atell and Jaigickand lived about two hundred and fifty years. The sons that survived him, according to the Tartar tradition, were Turk, Chars, Sacklap, Russ, Maninacb, Ztvin, Camariand TarichMirkhond and Khondemir, in agreement with the sacred historian, make Japhet, or, as they call him, Jafeth Ben Nouh, the eldest son of Noah. They also affirm, that, after the ark had rested upon the mountain of’ Giudi in Armenia, his father gave him all the countries lying to the east and north of that province. Many of the Orientals believe, that Japhet had the following sons: Gin, Tchin, or Sin, the father of the ChineseSeclab, the progenitor of the SclavaniansManschugefrom whom came the Goths or Scythians called Jagiuge and MagiugeGomari, the Gomer of MosesTurkfrom whom descended the TurksTartarsand MogulsKhalageKhozarRuss, the great ancestor of the RussiansSujfan, or SoujsanGhaz, or Gazand Tarage, the founder of the Turcoman nation. The Turkish writer Saadi, in great repute among his countrymen, likewise deduces the Ottoman or Oihman family, and consequently the nation to which it belongs, from the house of JaphetTurk, according to the Orientals, received the surname Jafeth-Oglan, or Japhis-Oglani, i.e. the son of Japhet, from his father, who also appointed him to bear the chief rule in his family, after his death. As Turk was a man of a superior genius, he invented many of the conveniences of life, made himself tents, and fixed his residence in a place known at present by the name of Isachkoll. He governed his family and subjects many years, with great justice, prudence, and moderation.
  • We are informed by the Tartars, that Turk had four sons, to wit,TaunakZakaleBersazarand Amlak; but some Oriental writers mention these five, IlmingehToutekJenghelBasegia or BarsegiaPir Scheher, and llak or ImlakFrom him the country in which he fixed himself was named Turkestan, and his subjects Turks. The Tartar historian gives us no account of his age when he died; but other Eastern authors say, that he lived two hundred and forty years, and was cotemporary with Kejomaras or Cajoumaras, the first king of Persia, of the dynasty of the Pischdadians .
  • Taunak, who succeeded his father Turk, became a very rich and ingenious prince. Besides many other inventions, highly advantageous to society, he discovered the use of salt.
  • According to the later Eastern writers,… the whole posterity of Turk being divided into four large tribes, denominated the orda’s of ErlatGiala’ir, Kaugin, and Berlas or Perlas; of the last of which was the famous Timur Beg. This division, however, remained only till the time of Ogus Khan, when a new one was introduced.
  • Jelza Khan ascended the throne after his father TaunakDibbakui Khan, after his father Jelza Khan‘s decease, was recognized king of the Turks. He had been declared presumptive heir to the crown, before the death of Jelza Khanand after a long reign, disposed of the succession to his son Kajuk KhanKajuk Khan arrived at an extreme old age, and was succeeded by his son Alanza Khan.

  • Some of the Eastern authors give Alanza Khan the name of Alingeh Khan, or Ilingeh KhanAlanza Khan, having two twin-sons, Tatar and Mogul, or more properly Mung’l, divided his dominions between them, a little before his decease.From Tatar Khan the Tatars or Tartars derived their name, as the Moguls did theirs from Mogul or Mung’l Khan. These two branches of Turks, being thus rendered independent on one another, formed two considerable empires, which, and the according to Abu’I Ghazi Bhahadur Khan, flourished for several generations.

  • Mogul, or Mung’l, Khan was the first monarch of the Moguls, who received their denomination from him. He was a prince of a very melancholy disposition, from which circumstance he deduced his name, Mung in the Tartarian language signifying melancholy. He reigned a long time, and at his death left four sons, Kara KhanAwwas or Azer KhanKhauwas or Ghez Khanand Khavar or OrKhan. We are told, that in a direct line from the eldest of these sons descended the famous Jenghiz Khan.
  • According to the Tartar historian, Ogus Khan, after a war, which lasted seventy-two years, obliged all his neighbours to submit to him, and to resume the true religion.  But upon  the sea-coasts, among the mountains behind Katbay, he was repulsed by Itburak or Itborak Khanand forced to post himself in an advantageous camp between two vast rivers, in order to secure himself against a surprize. As Ogus Khanand his chief officers, were attended by their wives in this expedition, one of those ladies, whose husband was killed in the late action, being big with child, found herself obliged to retire into an old hollow tree, when her pains came upon her, and was there delivered of a son. The khan, being informed of this, gave the child the name of Kipzak, which in the ancient Turkish signified a hollow tree. When this boy arrived at a proper age, Ogus Khan sent him with a considerable army against the Vrusses, Vlaks, Madjahrs, and Bashkirs, who inhabited the banks of the rivers TinAtelland Jaigici. These people he subdued, and reigned thirty years in that country. From  this Kipzak is descended that tribe, which has all along gone under the denomination of Kipzaks, Cabgiaks, Kiptchaks, or Kipjabs.
  • …Ogus Khan reduced Samarkand and Great Bukharia… and about the middle of winter advanced to the town of Khor. But it being extremely cold here, and a vast quantity of snow having fallen, his troops sustained infinite fatigues. However, after the reduction of Khor, he continued his march, giving the strictest orders, that none of his men should stay behind upon any pretence whatsoever. But, at the approach of the spring, making a review of his army, he found several of his men missing, who yet arrived some days after this review. Upon their arrival, he demanded of them the reason why they had not kept up with the rest of his troops. To which they answered, that having marched at first a little more leisurely than his other men, there fell so much snow in one night, that they could not possibly rejoin them. To which they added, that as all their horses and camels had burst, they could not possibly till that time appear before him. Whereupon the Khan, in memory of this accident, gave them the surname of Karlik, that word in the old Turkijh or Tartarian language signifying snow. And from these people it is, that the Karliks deduce their original.
  • Some time after, taking a resolution to invade Iran, he [ Ogus Khan – noted by Ed.] takes an commanded his men to amass a large quantity of provisions, expedition and make all the proper dispositions for a long march. Then against setting forward with his numerous forces, he was joined at the town of Talash by some stragglers, who had stayed behind in the late Indian expedition. Having asked one of these, how it came to pass that they did not arrive sooner; he answered, that their horses in general, and his own in particular, had been quite spent. To which he added, that his wife being delivered on the road, and so reduced with hunger, that she had no milk wherewith to nourish her child, be killed some game for her support, that she might be capable of giving her infant suck. Whereupon the khan furnished him with a horse and provisions, permitted him to return home, and in memory of that event gave him the name of Kall-atz, ‘kall’ in ancient Turkish signifying ‘ to fit’ or ‘stay behind’, and ‘atz’ denoting ‘hungry’. The posterity of Kall-atz  have since that time increased to such a degree, that there are at present several very numerous branches of them.
  • …According to Mohammed Ebn Emir Khoandschah, commonly called Mirkhond, the Persian historian, the division of the Turkish nation into tribes, which this seems to allude to, happened in the time of Ogus Khan. That prince, says this author, divided the Oriental Turks, that is to say, all those remote Turkish, or Tartar, nations seated beyond the Gihon, or the Oxus, into twenty-four different tribes.
  • Thus have we extracted in few words from the Eastern writers, and particularly Abu’l Ghazi Bahadur, khan of Khowarazm, the history of the Turks, Tartarsand Mogulsfrom their origin to the birth of Jenghiz Khan…The Tartarian manuscript, containing the genealogical history of the Turks, Tartars, and Moguls, written by Abu’l Ghazi Bahadur, khan of Khowarazm, was brought into Europe by M. Von Stahlenberg, who had it translated out of the Tartarian into the German tongue. It was afterwards translated into French and published in 1726.
  • Our author [Abu’l Ghazi Bahadur, khan of Khowarazm – noted by Ed.] makes Ogus Khan to have lived in the ninth generation from Japhet, the son of Noah… the Tartar history of Ogus Khan has something of truth in it, and something too that has been taken notice of by Herodotus.That Ogus Khan, therefore, was at the head of a powerful nation in the East, the progenitors of the present Tartarsand rendered himself famous by his conquests, is a point that cannot be disputed…That Ogus Khan was the Madyes of Herodotusand  therefore that the conquests of this prince terminated in the the reduction of the Upper Asia, appears to us by no means improbable. Ogus Khan, according to our historian, made himself master of the cities of Armenia, which belongs to the Upper Asia, as well as those of the neighbouring provinces. Now we read of no Scythian prince who ever possessed himself of that country, but the Madyes of Herodotus. The same conqueror, according to Abu’l Ghazi Bahadur Khan, took several cities in Aderbayagjan, some by force, and others by capitulation. Now Aderbayagjan is known to be the ancient Mediaand no Scythian prince ever made an irruption into Media, but the Madyes of Herodotus. The Tartar hero penetrated into Sham, or Syriaand even to the borders of Mesr, or Egypt: but no Scythian king, except Madyes, ever entered Syria, or approached Egyptand, that he did so, we learn from Herodotus. This was the last expedition of Ogus Khan, according to our author; and it appears from Herodotus, that, after Madyes had advanced towards the borders of Egypt, he grew quite obscure.

    Now our Tartar historian makes Ogus Khan‘s irruption into Armenia, Shamand Aderbayagjan, to have happened not many years after the death of Kejomaras ; so that, as Deioces was cut off by the Assyrians about 656 years before Christand the Scythians under Madyes penetrated into the aforesaid countries nineeen years after, it seems probable, that the Ogus Khan of Abu’l Ghazi Bahadur was the Madyes of Herodotus. If this be admitted, it will follow, that Ogus Khan put an end to his expeditions about the year before Christ 631. Hence we may perceive, that the history of Ogus Khan, preserved among the Tartars… is undoubtedly founded upon truth; nay, that Abu’l Ghazi Bahadur Khan and Herodotus mutually strengthen and support each other.

  • The ancient term signifying mountain was Tau, or Taui; and this is still added to the proper names of their mountains by the Tartars of Siberia. Some of the modern Tartars pronounce this Dag, Dak, Dau, and Daui; from whence we may derive the name of the Dad, a nation of Scythian extraction, who were antiently denominated not only Daci, but Daui, as we learn from Strabo.
  • It is probable, that the Seres possessed part of the tract comprehending the kingdoms of Kashgar and Tibet, the countries of the KalkasMungals, etc. or Chinese Tartary, and even certain districts of China itself. It seems to be a term of Tartar extraction; the Usbecks calling merchants living in cities Sar or Sart, which others comprehend under the name of Bukhars. These Sarts, or Seres, are now vassals, citizens, and merchants, settled in three different regions; first without the Chinese wall, under the Chinese jurisdiction, where they are called Koton; secondly, among the Usbecks, who give them the denomination of Sartes or Seres; and thirdly, in the kingdom of Kashgar, where they have the appellation of Bukhars. They carried on a trade with the Scythians from very remote ages, and consequently were in the earlier times greatly addicted to commerce; which perfectly answers the character given of them by Pliny. The Seres were antiently famous for their silken manufactures, they having first used the way of making silk from the web of the silkworm. Hence Serica became the name of silk, and Sericum of a silken garment, both among the Greeks and Romans.
  • That there was a second migration of the Hunns, Alans, Avares, Turks, Tartars, Moguls, Parians, and other Scythian nations, into America, we learn from Hornius.
  • About three hundred an eighty-fix years before the Christian era, Artaxerxes Mnemon made great preparations for an invasion of the island of CyprusAnd, in consequence of these alliances, he was assisted with a strong body of auxiliaries by the Egyptians, Libyans, Tyrians, Arabs, and other nations who were then at enmity with the Persians.
  • For, according to that venerable historian [ Herodotus – noted by Ed.]Deioces was Mede, lived from the beginning in Mediaand was at last elevated to the Median throne by the suffrages of his countrymen. And that the Persians were a nation distinct from, and independent upon, the Medes, during the whole reign of Deioces, appears most clearly from the same excellent author. For he informs us, that PhraortesDeioces’s son, brought the Persians under subjection to the Medes; which amounts to a plain implication, that the Medes and Persians were two independent nations at that prince’s accession.