Political repressions in the Mongol Empire, Golden Horde and other Turkic-Mongol states, and their justifications (13 th-16 th CC.)
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POLITICAL REPRESSIONS IN THE MONGOL EMPIRE, GOLDEN HORDE AND OTHER TURKIC-MONGOL STATES, AND THEIR JUSTIFICATIONS (13TH-16TH CC.)1
R. Yu. Pochekaev
(National Research University Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg)
In this article the author analyses the cases of political repressions in the Mongol Empire, Golden Horde and other Turkic-Mongol states of the 13th- 16th centuries. Author investigates different types of repressions: against rivals during the struggle for the throne, officials who incurred the anger of monarchs, rebellious cities and their citizens.
So, the political rivals often justified their right to the throne referring to the Great Yasa of Chinggis Khan, and hence, the punishment of the vanquished rivals usually was based as well on the Chinggis Khan'-s principles of the & quot-Law and Order& quot-: ambiguity of these principles (since the Great Yasa, as it seems, was not a written code of laws but only a system of rules and principles proclaimed by Chinggis Khan or his successors, who attributed them to him) allowed the winners to avenge their rivals following the formal legal norms. Thus, the charge of violation of the Great Yasa was a universal one allowing to solve the problem of of getting rid of a dangerous rival.
The punishment of disgraced officials was justified by other arguments that differed from charges of rebellion of the Chinggisid family members. But Chinggisid rulers also used some & quot-standard"- accusations such as treason, support of usurpers, bribery. Since in most cases such acts also contradicted to the principles of the Great Yasa (as they were interpreted by the Chinggisids), the formula & quot-put to yasa& quot- was frequently used in verdicts on such cases.
At last, we can also include the destruction of the resisting and insurgent cities in terms of political repressions. Reprisals against foreign cities that resisted the Mongol conquerors, was an integral part of the military strategy of terror facilitating the voluntary surrender of the following cities. In this case, the Chinggisids did not need any legal basis for the slaughter and destruction. However, in case of the rebellion of their own cities against the legitimate monarch, the latter, dealing with them accordingly, always represented his actions as the restoration of law and order.
So, despite the fact that in most of such cases repressions were result of personal decision of the monarch, or revenge, or coup d'-etat, etc., we can make
1 This article was originally presented at the International Conference & quot-History of Mass Violence in Russia and China& quot- (Helsinki, May 17−18, 2012) and then it has been substantially revised and supplemented.
sure that almost all of such repressions (with rare exceptions) were presented only as a punishment of criminals, traitors, bribe-takers and so on.
Keywords: Mongol Empire, Golden Horde, Ilkhanate, Chinggisid states, political repressions, judicial proceeding, parricide, rebellion, bribery.
The cruelty of the Mongol conquerors against civilians of the conquered states is well-known. As well as facts of the & quot-reprisals against winners& quot- (using the term of Lev Gumilev) during the struggle for power between different branches of the Chinggisid family and clans, which supported them. Researches often analyzed the reasons of such reprisals (single and mass) against aristocracy and common people, circumstances of their execution and even burial. But legal aspects of this subject -particularly, the legal interpretation of such repressions against certain person, group of people or even whole city — have been less studied. Meanwhile, the most of such repressions had legal interpretations and we intend to examine the ways of such interpretation justifying the Turkic-Mongol rulers'- repressions against their enemies.
Firstly we should say that there are not a lot of examples of ruling elite representatives'- punishment without accusation and trial, and initiators of such punishments are presented in historiography as usurpers or unjust monarchs, which later were blamed by own subjects, descendants and historians [see in details: 35, p. 76−79]. For instance, in 1290s, Nogay, the beklari-bek (prime-minister) and, in fact, real ruler of the Golden Horde, made legitimate khan Toqta (1291−1312) to execute a number of nobles, and it was done secretly, without trial — later, it was Nogay, and not Toqta, who was recognized as the initiator of this massacre and who, in his turn, was defeated and killed by his protege [39, p. 157−158]. In 1357, Berdibek, legitimate khan of the Golden Horde (1357−1359), executed 12 of his relatives — rivals for the throne (in medieval Russian chronicles they all named as his brothers) — and subsequently was also negatively characterized in historiography as a patricide [22, p. 229- 24, p. 129- 45, p. 108]. Similarly, the massacre of the Golden Horde aristocracy by false khan Kildibek (1361−1362) in 1361 was explained by the fear of this impostor that these nobles knew the real Kildibek and could denounce him [24, p. 129]. Esen Oirat leader, who in 1452 killed the legitimate pretender on the Mongol throne as well as 44 of his sayyids (ministers) and 66 commanders, was a usurper as he proclaimed himself a khan but was not a descendant of Chinggis Khan [32, p. 265]. We found only one example of punishment without trial by ruler who was positively characterized by historians: in 1295, the Persian ilkhan Gazan (1291−1304) ordered to execute his relative, dethroned ilkhan Baidu (1295) and a group of his supporters. Formally, ilkhan broke the rule of Chinggis Khan, which prescribed that his descendants should be judged only by own family court. But Baidu himself was a usurper who foully killed the legitimate ilkhan
Geikhatu (1291−1295), predecessor of Ghazan, and, thus, lost his right for court of the Chinggisids [38, p. 609−610]2.
In other cases of repressions against political rivals and even of actions for frightening of conquered peoples, the Turkic-Mongol rulers usually found legal interpretations for their actions. We would like to examine some kinds of repressions in the Turkic-Mongol states of the 13 th-16th centuries and characterize some examples of such interpretations, which were used by rulers to demonstrate that their repressions were, in fact, legal measures against criminals.
At first, let as examine the examples of repressions against political rivals and their supporters during the struggle for throne.
One of the first examples of political repressions in the Mongol Empire became, obviously, the execution by khan Guyuk (1246−1248) of his great-father Temuge-otchigin in 1246. The latter, indeed, tried to usurp the throne in 1242 or 1243, but, in fact, on his own free will, refused to do it and was not put to trial. But 3 or 4 years later his offence was recalled, the formal family court of the Chinggisids took place and Temuge was sentenced to death in accordance with Chinggis Khan'-s Yasa [9, p. 255- 38, p. 387]. As we can see, he was executed according to law and sentence of court, but, in fact, the Chinggisids punished him with the purpose to finally secure the Mongolian throne for direct descendants of Chinggis Khan. The punishment of Chinggis Khan'-s brother was so fast and cruel that during several ages other representatives of the Bordjigin family (descendants of Chinggis Khan'-s brothers) didn'-t take risk to rival for the Mongol throne: only in the second part of the 15th century, when the ruling family of Mongolian Chinggisids was almost annihilated, they took part in fight for the throne again.
Another example is well-known and repeatedly attracted researchers'- attention as there occurred true mass repressions: we talk about repressions of Mongolian emperor Mongke (1251−1259) and his co-ruler Batu (ruler of the Golden Horde, 1227−1256) against descendants of Chaghatai and Ogedei (2nd and 3rd sons of Chinggis Khan) in 1252. As known, after the death of Chinggis Khan the power in the Mongol Empire belonged to the family of Ogedei (in accordance with Chinggis Khan'-s will), but in 1251 a coup d'-etat took place and Mongke, son of Tului (4 th son of Chinggis Khan) was elected as emperor. Descendants of Ogedei (Mongol khan in 1229−1241) and their supporters from the Chaghatai family had to agree with such decision of great kurultay, but didn'-t want to loose the Mongolian throne once and for all and soon conspired against Mongke to kill him. Only few descendants of Ogedei participated in this plot, which was quickly discovered and all plotters were arrested. But it became an occasion for persecution of whole families of Chaghatai and
2 The examples of shameful executions of the persons who lost respect were examined by P.O. Rykin [29, p. 65].
Ogedei (rivals of Mongke and Batu) as well as of their less noble supporters.
The rulers of the Mongol Empire accurately kept the procedure of official accusation, trial and execution. All their rivals were accused of disobeying the khan and plotting a coup d'-etat. The representatives of Chinggisid family were judged by Mongke khan himself, women from this family were judged by Sorhaqtani, mother of khan, and their noble supporters were judged by & quot-great yarguchi& quot- (head of supreme court) Munkesar-noyon. But the direction for all judges was clear: all accused had to admit their guilt and be sentenced. No wonder that many of accused nobles of the Chaghataid and Ogedeid princes were subjected to torture and slander together with their masters. Oghul-Gaimish, widow of Guyuk Khan, was striped and drawn to court as if her crime already had been proven, and she was sentenced to death. Nevertheless, as was said, all formal procedures were observed, accusations were brought and & quot-proved"-, and most part of accused were sentenced to death — more than 70 representatives of the Chinggisid family and high nobles were executed.
To our mind, the sentence of this court in general was rather cynical. As for immediate plotters (Naqu and Shiremun, grandsons of Ogedei), they were only sent for exile: Naqu — to the distant provinces, Shiremun -in the Mongol front-line forces in China. Meanwhile, their relatives, representatives of the ruling family (including mothers of both plotters), which didn'-t conspire at all, were put to death. There is no doubt that Mongke and Batu succeed to punish their most dangerous enemies among the Chinggisids, whereas the relatively & quot-harmless"- plotters (and their unsuccessful plot was an evidence of their inabilities) saved their lives [9, p. 574−592- 16, p. 205, 217- 38, p. 399−404- 42, p. 122- see also: 3, p. 30−34].
Another show trial was connected with the end of the struggle for the throne of the Mongol Empire between two brothers — Kublai and Arik Bukha (both were brothers of above mentioned khan Mongke). During four years, they fought for the throne until 1264, when Arik Bukha (12 601 264), who was betrayed by his allies, had to surrender to Kublai (12 601 294) and was put to trial. But the legality of Kublai'-s trial was under question, and the words of Arik Bukha are proof of this: when Kublai asked him, who was right in their war, his brother answered: & quot-We were then, but you are today& quot- [38, p. 427]. As we can see, Kublai acquired the right to judge his brother not as more legitimate khan, but only as most lucky warrior, the winner! Similarly with the case of descendants of Chaghatai and Ogedei, there was a trial of equals: representatives of the Chinggisid family were judged by the family court, noyons and commanders — by yarguchis. And the verdict was the same: a lot of nobles and officials were executed, as for leaders of uprising (Arik Bukha and his nephew, Asutai, son of Mongke), they saved their lives and were exiled [38, p. 427−429]. The point is that Arik Bukha was inert and mediocre
figure, who resisted to Khubilai during four years only due to the support of talented commanders and powerful tribal leaders and high officials of Empire: so, they were executed and official leader of uprising saved his life and even was granted by Kublai with large domain3.
Rulers of other Turkic-Mongol states followed the example of their Mongol relatives and suzerains.
Hulagu, brother of Mongke, Kublai and Arik Bukha, and founder of the state of ilkhans in Iran (1256−1265), massacred a group of his commanders — representatives of the Jochid family, ruling house of the Golden Horde (Jochi was an elder son of Chinggis Khan). They were in command of the Golden Horde troops in Hulagu'-s campaign in Iran (by order of Mongke Khan). Seven Jochid princes were executed, their troops were attacked by soldiers of Hulagu and, with enormous tolls, partly returned to the Golden Horde, partly fled to Egypt: its Mamluk rulers were allies of the Golden Horde. Armenian authors, who weren'-t interested in glorification of the Persian ilkhans, said frankly that the Golden Horde commanders were executed for refusal to recognize Hulagu as a ruler of invaded territories — since the rulers of the Golden Horde claimed this lands to themselves [6, ch. 65- 8, p. 339]. Persian historian Rashid al-Din (he was also the actual prime-minister of ilkhans) said, that the Jochid commanders were accused and punished as they practiced sorcery against Hulagu. It is known that Hulagu even sent one or two of accused princes to their relative Berke, ruler of the Golden Horde, and the latter recognized that ilkhan acted under law and sent them back to Iran, where they were put to death [38, p. 356, 502]3. Thus, the information of Armenian historians gives us a true reason for massacre and the version of Rashid al-Din reflects the official accusation by ilkhan in this case. It'-s significant that Jochid princes were accused in sorcery — that indeed was one of the most serious accusations with the sentence to death [see: 16, p. 177]. As we will show below, that accusation was used very often in those cases, when the rulers didn'-t have real reasons for repressions against their rivals.
In 1310s, Uzbek, the most-known khan of the Golden Horde (13 131 341), annihilated about 120 Chinggisids during the struggle for the throne. Different sources give different reasons of such massacre. Arab medieval historians said, that Uzbek put to death his rivals as they refused to adopt Islam, which was proclaimed by this khan as official State religion of the Golden Horde- Arabs even contemptuously named these victims & quot-a gang& quot- [39, p. 163]. Their Persian colleagues said that Uzbek punished his relatives who took part in the plot against him shortly after his enthronization [24, p. 141]. At last, Otemish Hajji, Turkic author of
3 It should be pointed that saving of live to Shiremun in 1252 and Arik Bukha in 1264 was not a sign of light-mindedness of Mongke and Kublai: shortly after the trial, Shiremun was drowned by Kublai on certain suspicion- the circumstances of the death of Arik Bukha in 1266 (two year after the trial) are not clear [see: 38, p. 302, 429].
the middle of the 16th century (Uzbek is an ideal Moslem and Chinggisid ruler for him) said that Uzbek didn'-t put to death anybody: he says that Uzbek only robed the descendants of 17 sons of Jochi (founder of the Golden Horde, ancestor of Uzbek himself) of their princes'- status and subjugated them to the less noble person — Isatai of Kyats [45, p. 105]4. However, the mass massacre of relatives by Uzbek also was based on law and official accusations and, consequently, was presented in historiography as an example of khan'-s justice, not as act of tyranny.
The tradition of justifying repressions against political rivals by law and trial was saved also in the later Chinggisids'- states. For instance, Muhammad Shaybani Khan, descendant of the Golden Horde rulers and founder of Bukhara Khanate in Central Asia (1500−1510), ordered in 1508 to put to death both Sultan Mahmud Khan, the dethroned ruler of Tashkent (1487−1508), and his family (only his infant grandson was saved). The true reason for execution of Sultan Mahmud Khan and his family was the fear of Shaybani Khan that they could win to their side a part of his army and seize some of just invaded territories (especially Tashkent). Shaybani Khan himself said that saving of Sultan Mahmud'-s life & quot-would be the cause of the ruin of my kingdom& quot- [25, p. 120]. But later Shaybani Khan proclaimed that his relative was executed for his treacherous attempt to attack his provinces — this version was reflected in the official Central Asiatic historiography [10, p. 286−288- 30, p. 105].
Sometimes Turkic-Mongol rulers didn'-t have legal reasons for execution of their rivals and used another way to rid themselves of them -blood feud. In this way rulers formally withdrew from violence, but had the direct benefits from annihilation of their enemies.
So, in 1284 Arghun, ilkhan of Persia (1284−1291) defeated and dethroned his uncle Tekuder (1282−1284), but his gilts were not proved during the trial, and nephew had to save his life. But his followers explained him that if Tekuder would survive, then the enemies of Arghun could make him a symbol of their struggle. Then iklhan blamed uncle in illegitimate execution of two princes, and dethroned ilkhan was put to death, although this guilt of Tekuder was already mentioned at the trial and forgiven [38, p. 556].
The similar approach was used by the famous Amir Timur (Tamerlane, actual ruler of Transoxiania in 1370−1405) when in 1370 he defeated and captivated amir Husain — his former ally and subsequent rival during the struggle for power in Chaghataid Ulus. Amir Timur said that he didn'-t want to execute him. But he allowed to one of his supporters, amir Kay Khosrow, to revenge for his brother who was killed by Husain several years earlier, and Kay Khosrow, in his turn, killed
4 Isatai was grandfather of the famous Golden Horde statesman and actual ruler Mamai.
Husain [2, p. 68]. It should be mentioned, that lately Kay Khosrow also was killed by Amir Timur.
Another example of similar killing of the dethroned ruler took place in the Crimean Khanate in the middle of the 16th century. In 1551, the deposed khan, Sahib Geray (1532−1551), was killed with 10 his sons and grandsons. Neither the Ottoman sultan (who deposed him), nor new Crimean khan Dewlet Geray (1551−1577) had relation to this massacre. The former khan was killed by his great-son Bulyuk Geray who revenged him for two years earlier Sahib Geray Khan had refused his claims for the throne of Kazan khanate (which was a vassal of the Crimea) and, in addition, put him in prison. It'-s notable that new khan Dewlet Geray denied intention to kill his predecessor and even publicly mourned over him and. But, nevertheless, the murderer Bulyuk Geray, became his kalga-sultan (co-ruler and heir), and, besides that, khan declared soon that killing of Sahib Geray and his family was necessary to & quot-keep the order& quot- in the Crimean khanate. By the way, shortly after these events kalga-sultan Bulyuk Geray also was killed by Dewlet Geray Khan — just for his bragging of killing Sahib Geray [12, p. 221−223, 229- 15, p. 370−371]5.
Besides rivals in the struggle for power, participants of court intrigues also often became victims of repressions. Although such victims were mostly high officials (i.e. not members of the ruling family or aristocracy), their punishment was also presented as a result of the ruler'-s legal sentence.
In 1246, the above mentioned Guyuk, the Mongol emperor, put to death several powerful courtiers. Firstly, his own aunt Altalun (favorite daughter of Chinggis Khan) was executed. The true reason for her persecution was the intention of Guyuk and his mother Toregene to seize her numerous estates, but they couldn'-t find any basis for her accusation. And she was charged with sorcery: they said that she cost spell on Ogedei Khan (husband of Toregene and father of Guyuk) and he died. The formal trial took place and accusation was brought and proven, but the Mongol rulers broke the maxim of Chinggis Khan as she was judged not by family court but only by officials of Toregene. Later this offence against law became one of the causes to remove descendants of Ogedei from the throne [14, p. 111- 38, p. 355- 43, p. 127].
The same year, 1246, Toregene died and Guyuk began repressions against her own officials. The most-known was the punishment of Fatima — minion of Toregene who was one of the most powerful figures in the Mongol Empire during the regency of Ogedei'-s widow. The supporters of Guyuk intended to rid of her, but, again, didn'-t find any substantial
5 O. Gaivoronskiy soundly draws a parallel between killing of the dethroned Crimean khan and killing of their brothers by Turkish sultans before accession to the throne: according to the maxim of sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror, this way helped to keep the order and prevent distempers because of the struggle for power.
accusation. And & quot-universal"- charge with sorcery was used once more: Fatima was charged with casting spell upon Godan, brother of Guyuk (he was the ruler of Tibet in 1240−1251), which caused his death. She was sentenced to death and executed violently — as well as several other supporters of Toregene [9, p. 245- 38, p. 387- see also: 28, p. 248−249]. By the way, shortly after that, Godan mysteriously & quot-revived"- and even survived his brother Guyuk (d. 1248): he was mentioned in historical sources up to 1251…
The real court war for power and influence took place at the court of ilkhans of Persia, and, as a result, very often even vazirs (high officials) of ilkhans became victims of repressions. Sharaf Khan Bidlisi, the Persian historian of the end of the 16th century, mentioned that in 1324 vazir Ali Shah died — the only vazir of the Mongol rulers in Iran who died a natural death [41, p. 60]! All other vazirs were executed by ilkhans due to intrigues of their rivals. For example, in 1312 vazir Saad ad-Din Muhammad offended his colleague Rashid al-Din (famous historian), and the latter was succeed to put him to trial- during the proceeding & quot-something like treason was discovered& quot-, and Saad ad-Din was & quot-put to Yasa& quot-, i. e. executed in accordance with Mongol law [36, p. 57]. The fact that & quot-treason"- was & quot-discovered"- only during the trial, convinces us that this charge was framed-up by revengeful Rashid al-Din. But he didn'-t enjoy his victory for a long time: in 1318 his new colleague, above mentioned Ali Shah (who also was his protege), in his turn, charged Rashid al-Din with improper medical care of ilkhan Oljeitu, which caused the death of the latter. Rashid al-Din was found guilty and put to the violent death: he was divided in half [5, p. 307−308- 36, p. 78−80]. But, there is no doubt that, in fact, it was a result of the struggle for power among officials- besides that, powerful Rashid al-Din, who was the factual prime-minister of Iran during the reign of three ilkhans, was inconvenient for fretful and suspicious ilkhan Abu Said. Thus, his sentence to death was prejudged.
Sometimes the legal interpretation for punishment was found already after the death of certain person. For instance, in 1282 there was a plot against Ahmad Benaketi, powerful official of Kublai Khan, who was in charge of all finances in the Yuan Empire. Ahmad was assassinated, and khan firstly ordered to find and punish his murderers. But then his son and heir, who sympathized with the plotters, convinced father of crimes of Ahmad: he accepted bribes, abused of power and was dissolute. As a result of the trial, which found Ahmad guilty, his corpse was dragged out from the grave and drawn through the capital, his possessions were confiscated [38, p. 445−446- 46, p. 374]. Similarly, in Iran the powerful official Dimashk-khoja was assassinated in 1327, but later, by the order of ilkhan Abu Said, he was recognized as & quot-sentenced to Yasa for indecent actions made by him& quot- (i.e. put to death) [36, p. 122−123].
The same situation took place in the Mughal Empire in India in the middle of the 16th century. Bayram Khan, the regent and actual ruler of
the Empire during young years of the famous emperor Akbar (15 561 605), killed his rival Tardibek Khan and only after this murder he wrote a letter to the emperor with explanation of this massacre. He blamed Tardibek Khan (who was defeated in battle shortly before his killing) for treason and intentional defeat. And Akbar had to recognize the murdered official as traitor and to approve the act of Bayram Khan [7, p. 52−53].
It'-s interesting to mention that there was no a practice of repressions against the members of victims'- families — as it was in medieval China or Japan6. So, the members of executed official'-s family suffered the same fate only if they also were officially accused with crimes. Thus, after killing of Ahmad Benaketi his wife and two of his sons were also found guilty and executed as they took part in the gerrymander of his husband and father: they were flayed alive [46, p. 374]. Similarly, numerous sons of Rashid al-Din also were repressed: one of them was executed with father, others lost their high positions and possessions and were exiled [36, p. 80]7. To our mind, the most-known massacre of executed official'-s family was the repressions of ilkhan Abu Said (1316−1335) against the family of amir Chopan who during the long years was beklari-bek and factual ruler of Iran. Above mentioned murder of Dimash-khoja (he was one of the numerous sons of Chopan) became an occasion to investigate activities of Chopan and his relatives. As Chopan and his sons and grandsons firstly fled away and later began to fight against ilkhan, they were sentenced to death in their absence and, to the end of the 1320s, most part of them was annihilated [36, p. 115−137]. However, all of them also held high positions and gave occasion to accuse them of abuse of power and encroachment on monarch'-s one. Thus, these were the specific accusations of certain persons that reached power by using the family ties — not the repressions against families in general8.
Foreign rulers, who were vassals of the Turkic-Mongol monarchs, automatically became a part of the ruling elite of their states an, as a result, they became participants of intrigues and not rarely they also became victims of the repressions. We find some examples of such cases in the history of the Golden Horde or Iran under the Mongols. Two of the most famous cases in the Russian history (owing to the medieval orthodox hagiography) are the executions in the Golden Horde of Michael of
6 Above mentioned killing of Sultan Mahmud Khan'-s and Sahib Geray Khan'-s families were exceptions connected with annihilation of lineage for saving the throne and order in the State.
7 Later sons of Rashid al-Din came to power again, and one of them, Giyas ad-din, acquired the position of vazir — just as his father [see: 36, p. 124- 41, p. 63].
8 The principle of whole family responsibility for the crime committed by its representative (as it was in the medieval China or Japan), obviously, was lacking in the Mongol law. For example, the Golden Horde khans wrote in their yarliks (edicts) that judges should & quot-thoroughly investigate the case so that father wouldn '-t suffer for son as well as son for father & quot- [cit. on: 18, p. 586, transl. is ours, .R.P. ].
Chernigov in 1246 and Roman of Ryazan in 1270. Both were charged with religious crimes — disrespect to the Mongol religion and to khan himself- the similar case took place in Iran in the 1250s: the powerful Armenian prince Jalal was put to death for disrespect to the religion and to ilkhan himself. To the Mongols'- mind, the offence of their gods and khan, possessor of divine charisma, confirmed the desire of such offenders to call the divine anger upon Mongol rulers. That'-s why they tried to punish such crimes as quickly and violently as possible — to avoid divine anger and to transfer it to the criminals themselves [see, e.g.: 26- 27]. But, as known, the true reasons of execution of above mentioned persons were not connected with official charges: so, Michael of Chernigov was killed, obviously, in the result of intrigues of his competitor — prince Yaroslav of Vladimir (father of Alexander Nevsky) — the Armenian prince Jalal was also slandered by his rivals.
During the reign of khans Toqta and Uzbek in the Golden Horde (1300s-1330s) more than dozen of Russian princes (of Ryazan, Tver'-, etc.) were executed [see, e.g. 23, p. 176, 194, 203]. Official accusations were disobedience to khans, negotiations with their enemies, organization of rebellions. But, in fact, most of them became victims of intrigues of the Moscow princes who were in favor of khans and rivals of the executed rulers.
Similar accusation became the reason of execution of some foreign rulers and officials in Iran under the Mongols. In the 1260s, Armenian prince Zakare was charged by his enemies with relations with Georgian and Armenian princes who rebelled against ilkhan [6, ch. 64]. In 1277, Muin al-Din Pervana, powerful vazir of the Seldjukide state, was put to trial of ilkhan Abaga: his guilt was undoubted as his letters to Mamluks of Egypt (enemies of the Iranian Mongols) were delivered to ilkhan- nevertheless, the formal trial was held and Pervana was officially sentenced to death and executed9. In 1289, Georgian tsar Demetre II was executed: his only guilt was that he was under protection of the powerful Mongol official Buga, whose death, in his own turn, was a consequence of court intrigues [40, p. 127 et seq. ]10. But it should be mentioned that all these executions were also made only after official accusation and trial.
So, we can resume that in the most part of the cases of political repressions formal procedures were observed thoroughly: at first, there was official accusations, then putting to trial, investigation (with tortures as, a rule), getting avowal of guilt or another proofs of it, sentencing to
9 The same accusations were brought against one more Seldjukide vazir, Fakhr al-Din Ali in 1271/1272 and against George, emperor of Trapezund, another vassal of ilkhans, in 1280, but they succeeded to prove their innocence during the trial [see: 33, p. 185−186].
10 A Georgian author didn'-t mention accusations against Georgian tsar: obviously, he was executed on the base of accusation, which were brought against his protector Buga.
death (in rare cases — less drastic punishment) and execution. We don'-t have official documents from the Turkic-Mongol states of the 13th-16th centuries on such procedure, which survive till our days, but it can be clearly restored from the narrative sources of this period.
Modern researchers of the Mongol conquests often analyze the subjects of plundering and destructions of cities and massacre of their population. For that they offer different explanations for why the Mongols destroyed cities — e.g. that they, as nomads, & quot-didn'-t know& quot- what to do with conquered cities [13, p. 230- see also: 47, p 162], or that they practiced terror to frighten inhabitants of other cities and make them surrender without resistance [17, p. 269].
Of course, first of these explanations seems to be rather primitive and mistaken: up-to-date researches of archaeologists convince us that the medieval nomads of Central Asia had own cites and, sure, had idea of their role and importance. As for destroying cites and massacre of population as an instrument of terror, we could agree with such opinion but only in the cases of invasion. And what about punitive actions against the cities that already became a part of the Turkic-Mongol states? To our mind, only such actions could be characterized as repressions, and it makes sense to analyze their legal interpretations.
The subject of destroying and even total annihilation of cities and mass massacre of their population was examined in details by St. Petersburg historian A. Yurchenko who analyzed such actions as annihilation of cities, mass killing of people and even domestic animals as well as building of towers of skulls (widespread practice of the Turkic-Mongol invaders during the 13th-16th centuries) [see: 11- 47, p. 161−166]. To our mind, the researcher clearly brought out the sacral meaning of such actions, intention of the Mongol invaders to mark certain territories as sacred places (& quot-kuruqs"- in the Turkic-Mongol traditions) etc. But we are more interesting in the legal aspects of such actions.
The legal meaning of destroying the Central Asian cites during the campaigns of Chinggis Khan in the 1220s seems to be clear: in particular, Bamian and Nishapur were destroyed since during their siege there were killed both Mutugan, grandson of Chinggis Khan, and Toguchar, his son-in-law. The killing of the members of ruling house caused terrible punishment, and the places of their death were transformed in the & quot-reserves of death& quot- (such term is used by A. Yurchenko). Similarly, after the battle of Legnitsa in Poland (1241), a lot of Polish captives were killed by the Mongols, and there was build a tower of their skulls since the Mongol noble military leader was killed in this battle (researchers suppose that he could be also a member of the Chinggisid family) [see in details: 11, p. 162, 164−165]. In 1238, the Russian city of Kozelsk was wiped off the face of earth and its population was massacred since the Mongols suffered enormous losses during its siege and assault [see: 23, p. 112]. We could find the same examples in the history of campaigns both of Amir
Timur (Tamerlane) on the edge of the 14th-15th centuries and his descendant Babur in the beginning of the 16th century. So, in 1388 Timur destroyed Urgench (capital of Khorezm) and ordered to sow its site with grain since the rulers of this city repeatedly rebelled against him [2, p. 126−127], the same situation occurred in Isfahan [4, p. 58], as well as in Syria and India, where he destroyed cities and massacred people for their resistance and under pretence that they didn'-t want to convert to Islam and did harm to the Muslims [see: 2, p. 321- 31, p. 97−98- 37, p. 364, 368 369]. His great-great-grandson Babur, the famous poet and historian, also destroyed cites and built piles of skulls (some times he mentioned the & quot-minarets of skulls& quot-) in revenge to resistance to him by local people of Afghanistan and India [18, p. 160, 221, etc.].
But sometimes repressions against own cities also took place — when they submitted to the Turkic-Mongol rulers and then rebelled against them. Rulers practiced even more cruel actions against them. Rebellion and especially betrayal were the most serious crimes in the Mongol law and resulted into violent punishment. As we already have mentioned, the point is that the Chinggisids possessed the so called divine charisma, which was a sacred and legal basis for their right to rule [see: 34, p. 238]. Thus, such crimes were considered as political and religious at the same time: the Chinggisids considered rebellions and betrayal as an encroachment on the universal order and that was a reason of more cruel punishment. Thus, the Mongols massacred the Volga Bulgarians in the 1230s, when they submitted but rebelled again [38, p. 322]. In 1275, the Mongol commander Bayan destroyed the Chinese city of Changzhou and massacred population formally breaking the orders of Kublai Khan but in accordance with the Mongol law in general: the citizens of Changzhou submitted to the Mongols at spring of 1275, but then they recognized the power of the Chinese Southern Sung dynasty again [see: 44, p. 110−111]. The cruel punishment of the Moscow people by the Golden Horde khan Toqtamysh and burning of the city were caused by their disobedience to their suzerains and refusal to pay the prescribed tribute (& quot-vyhod"-) [see: 24, p. 69]. While taking Bukhara, the Uzbek conqueror Muhammad Shaybani Khan didn'-t allow his troops to plunder the city, and it was considered by population as his weakness: people rebelled and after second taking of the city, it was plundered and a lot of inhabitants were killed by Uzbek soldiers. The similar situation occurred in 1501: the Central Asian cities of Karakul, Karshi, and Dabusia submitted to Shaybani Khan but then called for their former Timurid rulers again: khan and his commanders cruelly punished their population by plundering cities and building towers of skulls in the marketplaces [20, p. 122−123, 127]. Modern historians have opinion that such examples were not a simple demonstration of blood-thirstiness of the Turkic-Mongol rulers but of their justice: they punished the rebelled cities and restored the universal
order on the dependent territories as they understood it [see also: 21, p. 140−141].
Of course, there were no a show trials in the cases of cities'- rebellions, but we also can say that the formal procedure of official accusation and legal interpretation of such actions took place in the most part of such cases.
As we can see, the predominant number of cases of political repressions were presented by their initiators as legal measures, provided official accusation and judicial proceedings and, as a result, the punishment of relatives, aristocracy and even city population transformed them in act of justice. It'-s necessary to emphasize that this tradition was preserved in the later Chinggisid states, where Islam was an official religion and where the domination of Muslim law was proclaimed [see in details: 1]. The Muslim law didn'-t replace the Turkic-Mongol legal traditions (some of them were used in the Central Asian States up to the beginning of the 20th century), but added new accusations, crimes and punishments. Thus, the Chinggisid rulers and their successors demonstrated their adherence to law (today we can even say — rule of law!). But whether there was a real high level sense of justice?
Of course, not. The legal basis was necessary for the rulers since within the Nomadic society existed very intricate clan (or tribal) system, which was transferred later into the Mongol Empire and Chinggisid states. Each representative of the ruling family or high official had strong patrimonial and matrimonial relations with different and powerful Mongol and Turkic clans, which had strong influence on the policy of the certain state. Unjustified punishment of any prince or noble could be a catalyst for the strife between clans and, as a result, for internal war, which could lead to weakening of the ruling elite and disintegration of the State (and precisely on this way finished the history of Mongol Empire, Yuan Empire in China, Chaghataid Ulus in Central Asia, Golden Horde, etc.). Thus, the legal basis was something like a compromise for rulers who needed to maneuver between different clans: by keeping the formal rules of accusation, trial and execution, they not only demonstrated their justice but also involved in decision-making process representatives of the powerful clans and provided the & quot-cover-up"- (mutual responsibility): clan leaders had no reasons to blame khans for repressions as they participated in trials themselves. In these circumstances, khans could punish even powerful clans because the most powerful one (not less respected than the khan'-s family) couldn'-t resist all other clans of the State. Besides that, sometimes trials ended by discharge of the accused (as it was with Shiremun and Naqu in 1252, Ariq-Buga and Asutai in 1264, Alexander of Tver'- in 1337, etc.) and it was additional prove for impartial justice of the Turkic-Mongol rulers.
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About the author: Roman Yulianovich Pochekaev — Head of the Department of theory and history of law and state of the National Research University Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Cand. Sci. (Jurisprudence), Associate Professor (198 099, Promyshlennaya st., 17, St. Peterburg, Russian Federation) — ropot@mail. ru
ПОЛИТИЧЕСКИЕ РЕПРЕССИИ В МОНГОЛЬСКОЙ ИМПЕРИИ, ЗОЛОТОЙ ОРДЕ И ДРУГИХ ТЮРКО-МОНГОЛЬСКИХ ГОСУДАРСТВАХ: ЮРИДИЧЕСКОЕ ОБОСНОВАНИЕ (ХШ-ХУ1 ВВ.)
(Национальный исследовательский университет «Высшая школа экономики», Санкт-Петербург)
Статья представляет собой анализ примеров политических репрессии в Монгольской империи, Золотой Орде и других тюрко-монгольских государствах ХШ-ХУ! вв. Автор рассматривает различные типы репрессий — про-
тив соперников в борьбе за трон, чиновников, вызвавших гнев монархов, восставших городов.
Так, соперники в борьбе за трон Монгольской империи и чингизидских государств ХШ-Х1У вв. зачастую обосновывали свои права на власть ссылками на Великую Ясу Чингис-хана. Соответственно, и расправа победителей с побежденными также основывалась на принципах «правопорядка» Чингис-хана: неопределенность этих правовых принципов (как думается, Великая Яса представляла собой не зафиксированный свод законов, а именно систему нормативных правил и принципов, провозглашенных Чингисханом или приписанных ему его преемниками) позволяла победителям мстить своим соперникам, используя правовые средства. Таким образом, обвинение в нарушении Великой Ясы являлось «универсальным» для решения проблемы избавления от опасного соперника.
При расправе с опальными вельможами Чингизиды использовали несколько иные средства, чем в борьбе с проигравшими соперниками. Тем не менее, имелся ряд «стандартных» обвинений — измена, поддержка узурпатора, казнокрадство. Поскольку подобные деяния также противоречили принципам Великой Ясы (как она трактовалась потомками Чингис-хана), в приговорах по делам сановников нередко фигурировала фраза «предать ясе».
Наконец, разрушение сопротивляющихся или восставших городов также можно включить в круг политических репрессий в чингизидских государствах. Расправа с иностранными городами, которые оказывали сопротивление монгольским завоевателям, представляла собой политику военного террора, с помощью которой монголы получали возможность не встретить сопротивления от следующих городов, и в данном случае никаких правовых оснований для резни и разрушений не требовалось. Когда же речь шла о собственных городах, восстававших против законного монарха, то последний, расправляясь с ними всегда представлял свои действия как восстановление закона и порядка.
Несмотря на то, что в большинстве случаев поводом для расправы являлись личная воля монарха, месть или государственный переворот, такие репрессии (за немногочисленными исключениями) официально являлись результатом судебного разбирательства и вынесения приговоров преступникам, изменникам, взяточникам
Ключевые слова: Монгольская империя, Золотая Орда, государство Ильханов, государства Чингизидов, политические репрессии, судебный процесс, государственная измена, мятеж, взяточничество.
Сведения об авторе: Роман Юлианович Почекаев — заведующий кафедрой теории и истории права и государства Национального исследовательского университета «Высшая школа экономики» в Санкт-Петербурге, кандидат юридических наук, доцент (198 099, ул. Промышленная, 17, Санкт-Петербург, Российская Федерация) — ropot@mail. ru