Was there a Tatar-Mongol yoke or not? This is a question that has recently been asked by an increasing number of domestic historians. The first doubts about the existence of this state formation appeared many years ago. Now this topic is discussed quite often. In this article, we will try to understand this issue by referring to the opinion of historians.
The question of whether or not there was a Tatar-Mongolian yoke actively began in the 20th century. After analyzing historical memos, scientists noticed that such a term is not used by any of the authoritative historians who lived in previous centuries. For example, neither Karamzin nor Tatishchev has it.
Moreover, the very term "Tatar-Mongols" is neither an ethnonym of the Mongolian peoples, nor their self-name. This is an exclusively armchair and artificial concept, which was first used in 1823 by the historian Naumov.
Since then, it has "migrated" to scientific articles and textbooks.
Where did the Mongols come from?
In our time, many modern alternative historians talk in detail about the truth about the Tatar-Mongol yoke. For example, the publicist and writer Yuri Dmitrievich Petukhov, also known as a science fiction writer.
He emphasizes that the ethnonym "Mongols" cannot be understood as real representatives of the Mongoloid race who live on the territory of the modern state of the same name.
Anthropological Mongoloids - Khalkha. These are poor nomads, whose tribes were collected from several scattered communities. In fact, they were shepherds who were in the 12th-14th centuries at the primitive communal level of development.
Petukhov insists that the existence of Russia under the Tatar-Mongol yoke is a grandiose provocation staged by the West led by the Vatican against Russia. Yuri Dmitrievich at the same time refers to anthropological studies of burial grounds, which prove the complete absence of Mongoloid elements in Russia. There are no Mongoloid signs among the local population either.
One of the first who began to describe the period of the Tatar-Mongol yoke in a fundamentally different way was the archaeologist and writer Lev Nikolaevich Gumilev, the son of Anna Akhmatova and Nikolai Gumilev.
He began to assert that in Russia there were two rulers who were responsible for running the state. They were the prince and the khan. The prince ruled in times of peace, while the Khan took the reins of power in times of war.When there was peace, he was responsible for the formation of the army and keeping it in full combat readiness.
Gumilyov, doubting whether or not there was a Tatar-Mongol yoke, writes that Genghis Khan is not a name, but the title of a wartime prince, whose position corresponded to the modern commander in chief. There have only been a handful of people in history who have held this title.
He considers Timur the most outstanding. In the surviving documents, Gumilyov points out that this man is described as a warrior with blue eyes and tall stature, who had white skin, red hair and a thick beard, which in no way corresponds to the image of a classical Mongol.
Opinion of Alexander Prozorov
Details on the topic of whether or not there was a Tatar-Mongolian yoke, Alexander Prozorov, a prominent representative of modern mass literature, the author of science fiction novels and short stories, also speaks out.
He also sees the existence of the yoke as a conspiracy of Western detractors. Prozorov believes that the Russian princes nailed a shield to the gates of Tsargrad back in the 8th century, but it is unprofitable for many to admit that Russian statehood already existed at that time.
That is why, as he claims, a version appeared about centuries of slavery under the rule of the mythical Mongol-Tatars.
The dates of the beginning and end of the Tatar-Mongol yoke are considered to be the time from 1223, when, as it is believed, countless hordes of Asians approached the borders of Russia, until 1480, when the northeastern principalities got rid of it. At the same time, the gradual process of overthrowing the yoke began a century earlier after the victory inBattle of Kulikovo, which became an important stage in the restoration of the unity of Russia.
The well-known " alternative" historians Anatoly Timofeevich Fomenko and Gleb Vladimirovich Nosovsky discuss the topic of the Golden Horde and the Tatar-Mongol yoke in detail.
They use all sorts of arguments to prove their point. For example, in their opinion, the very name of Mongolia comes from the Greek word, which can be translated as "great". At the same time, it is not found in ancient Russian sources, but "Great Russia" is regularly used. On this basis, Fomenko comes to the conclusion that foreigners, to whom the Greek language was closer and more understandable, called Mongolia Russia.
Examples from chronicles
Further, the authors of the "New Chronology" point out that the very description of the conquests of Russia by the Tatar-Mongols is presented in the annals in such a way that it seems that we are talking about a Russian army led by Russian princes, which is called "Tatars".
As an example, Fomenko and Nosovsky cite the Laurentian Chronicle, which is considered one of the main reliable sources telling about what was happening at that time. It describes the conquests of Genghis Khan and Batu.
In their own interpretation of the information given in it, the authors of the "New Chronology" come to the conclusion that it describes the process of unification of Russia around Rostov, which took place from 1223 to1238 under Prince Georgy Vsevolodovich. At the same time, only Russian troops and Russian princes participated in it.
Indeed, the Tatars are mentioned, but there is not a word about the Tatar military leaders, and the Rostov princes use the fruits of their victories. Fomenko notes that if we replace the word "Tatar" with "Rostov" in the text, we get a natural text about the unification of Russia.
Siege of Moscow
Then the chronicle describes the war against the Tatars, who besiege Vladimir, take Moscow and Kolomna, conquer Suzdal. After that, they go to the Sit River, where a decisive battle takes place, in which the Tatars win.
During the battle, Prince Georgy dies. Having announced his death, the chronicler stops writing about the Tatar invasion, devoting several pages of text to a detailed description of how the body of the prince was delivered to Rostov with all honors. Paying special attention to the magnificent burial, he praises Prince Vasilko. In the end, he claims that Yaroslav, who was the son of Vsevolod, took the throne in Vladimir, and there was great joy among Christians when the land was freed from the godless Tatars.
Based on this, we can conclude that the result of the victories of the Tatars was the capture of several key Russian cities, after which the Russian army was defeated on the City River. According to the proponents of the classical point of view, this was the beginning of a long yoke. The fragmented country was turned into a conflagration, and the bloodthirsty Tatars were in power. Allegedlyon this, independent Russia ended its existence.
Where are the Tatars?
Further, Fomenko is surprised that there is no description of how the surviving Russian princes go to the khan to bow. In addition, there is no mention of where his headquarters was. It is assumed that after the Russian army was defeated, the conquering khan will reign in the capital, but again there is not a word about this in the annals.
Then it tells how things were at the Russian court. For example, about the burial of a prince who died in the City. His body is being taken to the capital, but it is not a stranger who rules in it, but an heir, the brother of the deceased, Yaroslav Vsevolodovich. Further, it is not clear where the Khan himself is, or why Rostov is so happy about this victory.
The only plausible explanation that Fomenko finds is that there have never been any Tatars in Russia. As additional evidence, he even cites the memories of foreign travelers and diplomats. For example, the Italian Franciscan monk Giovanni Plano Carpini, who is considered the first European to visit the Mongol Empire, passing through Kyiv, does not mention a single Mongol leader. Moreover, most of the important administrative posts are still held by Russians.
The Mongol conquerors, according to the authors of the New Chronology, are turning into some kind of invisible people.
Instead of a conclusion
Concluding, we note that all attempts to refutethe existence of the Tatar-Mongol yoke is being made by researchers who seek by hook or by crook to prove that the state in Russia existed from time immemorial. Moreover, it never obeyed anyone, was not controlled by anyone, being forced to pay tribute.
Thus, the possible influence of the Tatar-Mongol yoke on Russia is reduced in every possible way.