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Stratum Plus. 2001-2002. №6

V. L. Myts (Simferopol’, Ukraine)

Captured by Historiography Illusions

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Pages: 307-331

The article studies most important political developments in Northern and North-Western Black Sea area in 1361-1363, based on historical records of 1360–80s. In author’s opinion, the reason behind the military conflict between Knyaz Olgerd’s Lithuanian-Russian State and three leaders of the western Ulus Djuchi was the fact that Knyaz Feodor, protégé of the Tatars, was ousted from Kiev in 1361. In 1363, Olgerd made a preemptive strike. It was on a borderland near the river Sinie Vody, where he defeated the Horde’s people who were intending to attack Kiev, and then chased them to the mouth of the Dnieper. News of Olgerd’s progress reached Taurica and caused panic in Solhat. Its inhabitants took urgent actions and built a defensive ditch and a wall around the town. Weakening of the western Tatars’ beks was a favorable situation, including to Mamay. A weakened and safe western rear was suitable to him, since this minion’s political ambition was oriented eastwards: he wanted to seize the Golden Horde’s capital – Saray-al-Djedid.
The facts presented here exclude identification of  «Demeiter Sultan» (leader of a Tatars’ Horde) as turmarh (?) Huitani mentioned in an inscription in Mangup, dated by 1361/62. The position of a turmarh (leader of a company) was a combination of military and administrative functions and was preserved as a rudiment in the Turkish Kaffa, i.e. inspectors of districts – «yuzbash». The turmarh and hecatontarh of Theodoro were not «knyazes» of Turkic origin. The available anthroponyms point to a possibility of their appearance in German and Caucasian ethno-linguistic environment of the multiethnic Taurica.


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