Libmonster ID: JP-1338
Author(s) of the publication: Gibuev T. A. (Moscow)

There is no consensus among researchers on the origin of Alans. In science, there is a stable idea of the Alans as a Sarmatian people by origin1 . The main provisions of this concept are as follows: the Alans, one of the Sarmatian tribes, separated from the Aorsk confederation, and their entry into the historical arena is associated with a political regrouping of forces within it; the ethnonym "Alanors", recorded by Ptolemy, is interpreted as a transition from the Aors to the Alans; the Alans appear where the Sarmatian states were previously localized. tribes that had already joined the Alanian ethnopolitical association by the second century AD.

The main objection to the theory of the Sarmatian origin of the Alans is that no ancient author identifies them with the Sarmatians. On all known ethnographic maps of ancient writers, the Alans are recorded as an independent tribe along with various Sarmatian tribes. An alternative point of view is the opinion expressed by L. G. Nechaeva about the Central Asian origin of the Alans .2 Currently, this version is becoming increasingly popular among researchers, and, in my opinion, it looks preferable to the first one. Due to the fact that historians have not formulated the concept of the Central Asian origin of this people using all known Chinese and ancient written sources, I consider it possible to offer my own version of the entogenesis of the Alans.

For the first time, the ethnonym "Alans" appears among ancient authors in the first century AD. The earliest mention of them is found in Lucius Annaeus Seneca, in the tragedy " Fiesta "(627-631), written in the middle of the first century AD. Roman poets and historians of the first century AD did not ignore the Alans (Marcus Annaeus Lucan, Gaius Valerius Flaccus, Martial, Pliny the Elder, and Josephus). Pliny and Josephus, without contradicting each other, point to the territories occupied by the Alans. According to Josephus, "... the Alani tribe is a part of the Scythians living around Tanais and the Maeotian Lake" (De bel. VII. 7. 4), i.e., the Don and the Sea of Azov.

1 Kulakovsky Yu. A. The Alans according to the information of classical and Byzantine writers. Kiev, 1899; Smirnov K. F. Sarmatian tribes of the Northern Caspian region. 1950. XXXIV; Vinogradov V. B. Sarmatians of the North-Eastern Caucasus. Grozny, 1963; Gagloti Yu. S. Alany i voprosy entogeneza osetin [Alans and issues of Ossetian entogenesis]. Tbilisi, 1966; Kuznetsov V. A. Ocherki istorii alan [Essays on the History of the Alans]. Vladikavkaz, 1992.

2 Nechaeva L. G. The Alkhan-Kala burial ground and catacomb burials of the Sarmatian period in the North Caucasus. .. Candidate of Historical Sciences, Leningrad, 1956. On the ethnic identity of podboynykh and catacomb burials of the Sarmatian period in the Lower Volga region and in the North Caucasus / / Issledovaniya po arkheologii SSSR. L., 1961.

3 Machinsky D. A. Nekotorye problemy etnogeografii vostochno evropeyskikh steppei v II v. B.C. - I v. N.E. [Some problems of ethnogeography of Eastern European steppes in the II century BC-I century AD]. Issue No. 16. L., 1974, p. 127; Kerefov B. M. Monuments of the Sarmatian period of Kabardino-Balkaria. Nalchik, 1988. pp. 117-138; Skripkin A. S. Asiatic Sarmatia. Saratov, 1990. pp. 198-222; Yatsenko S. A. Alanskaya problema i tsentralnoaziatskiye elementy v kul'tury kochevnikov Sarmatii I-II vv. n. e. [The Alanskaya problem and Central Asian elements in the culture of Sarmatian nomads of the I-II centuries AD]. Peterburgskiy arkheologicheskiy vestnik, SPb., 1993, issue 3, pp. 60-72.

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The characteristics given to the Alans by the authors of the first century A.D., although not repeated, speak exclusively of their military virtues, describing them as wild (Seneca), harsh and eternally warlike (Lucan), ardent (Flaccus), and the author of the second century A.D., Dionysius Periegetes, notes the bravery of this people. Despite the abundance of information, we do not find an answer to the logical question-who are the Alans? Among the authors of the first century AD, only Josephus says that the Alans are part of the Scythians. But he also describes all the Sarmatians as part of the Scythians: "Those of the Scythians who are called Sarmatians... "(De bel. VII. 7.3), i.e. the characteristic "Scythians" in Josephus does not indicate anything other than belonging to the circle of Iranian-speaking nomads.

Several authors of the second century AD mention the Alans in their writings, but only Claudius Ptolemy, Dio Cassius, and Flavius Arrian give the Alans an ethnic characterization. Ptolemy records this people on the territory of the Eurasian steppe, which is divided into three major regions: European Sarmatia, Asian Sarmatia and Scythia. The border between European and Asian Sarmatia was the Tanais River. The Alan is found in Ptolemy, both in European Sarmatia and in Scythia.

In the chapter" The Situation of European Sarmatia " by Ptolemy, we read the following: "Sarmatia is inhabited by very numerous tribes ... all along the coast, the Maeotids are the Yazyges and Roxolani; further inland, the Hamaxobians and the Scythian Alans" (III. 5.7). In this case, we are talking about an area located somewhere north of Meotida and west of Tanais, in its lower reaches. In addition, Ptolemy reports that among the mountains that cross European Sarmatia, there are also " Alan Mountains "(III. 5.5), which, apparently, after Yu .A. Kulakovsky, should be identified with the Donetsk ridge 4.

By Scythia, in which we find the Asiatic Alans, Ptolemy means the territory extending to the east of Asiatic Sarmatia: "It (i.e., Asiatic Sarmatia - T. G.) is also limited to Scythia, which extends along the river Ra (Volga-T. G.)" (V. 8.1), i.e., speech In this case, we are talking about the territories of the Trans-Volga region and Transcaspia. Ptolemy's entire Scythia is divided into two parts, on this side and on the other side of Mount Imaon. In this case, Mount Imaon is described not as a separate peak, but as a chain of mountains. If it is correlated with a real geographical map, then this mountain system, stretching in a meridional direction, in the north should have captured the northern spurs of the Tien Shan, then to the south it should have crossed the Pamirs and rested in the Hindu Kush. "Scythia on this side of Mount Imaon" is bordered on the west by Asian Sarmatia, on the north by the unknown land, on the east by the line of the Imaon Mountains, on the south by the Saka region, Sogdiana, Margiana, and part of the Hyrkanian (Caspian) Sea up to the Ra River (VI. 14.1). As we can see, this part of Scythia is localized in the central and northern regions of Central Asia and in Southern Kazakhstan.

About the peoples who lived in "Scythia on this side of Mount Imaon", Ptolemy reports the following: "They inhabit [part] of this Scythia, all facing north, close to the unknown [land], the so-called Alans-Scythians, and Suobenes, and Alanorsi, and [the territory] below them-Sethians, and Massei, and Suebi, and at the outer side [of Mount] Imaon-tectosaki, and then at the eastern sources of the Ra Roboski River... "(VI. 14.9). These peoples can only be localized relative to each other. Since the list of tribes is kept by Ptolemy from north to south and from west to east, we have the right to place the Alans-Scythians and Alanors in the northern regions of this region, south of the unknown land. At the same time, if the Alanors can be localized near the northwestern tip of the Tien Shan, then the Alan-Scythians to the west of them, after the Suobens occupying the middle position.

The ethnonym "alanors" is found only once in Ptolemy. In its sound, it resembles the names of two peoples at once-the Alans and the Aors, on the basis of which the researchers concluded that it has a transitional meaning. Ptolemy knows

4 Kulakovsky Yu. Map of European Sarmatia by Ptolemy. Kiev, 1899. P. 20.

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Aorsis in both Sarmatia and Scythia. In Scythia, they are recorded at some distance from both the Alans and the Alanors, in the area located east of the Pa-Volga river and west of the Yaxarta-Syrdarya River (VI. 14.10), i.e. in the Northern Caspian region. At the same time, if the Alan-Scythians and Alanors were separated only by the Suobens, then the space between them and the Aors was occupied by many peoples. With such localization, the territory of the Alanors is more than 1000 km to the east from the territory of the Aors. In the Tien Shan, the aorses were never fixed by anyone. And the point is not that they would not have been able to advance there, but that Ptolemy mentions Alanors simultaneously with Alans and Aors in specific territories, which does not allow us to speak about the mandatory transitivity of this ethnonym. In this regard, the etymology given to the ethnonym "alanorsy" by V. I. Abaev seems to me correct: "white alans "(the second part of the word ors-translates as "white") .5 This interpretation excludes Aors from the ethnonym "Alanors" as a mandatory component and establishes a close relationship between Alans and Alanors. This, in turn, allows us to consider them as two tribal groups of the same people.

Ptolemy also had the Alanian Mountains in Scythia, which, according to the description, were also located in the northern part of the region (VI. 14.3). At the same time, in the work of Ptolemy, we encounter mountains with the same name for the second time. In the first case, the Alanian Mountains are placed by Ptolemy in European Sarmatia, in the second - in "Scythia on this side of Mount Imaon". A comparison of the coordinates given by Ptolemy to both mountain ranges suggests that he fixed the same name for different mountain systems.

So, in Ptolemy we find Alans not only in Sarmatia, where they are known to authors of the first century AD, but also in Scythia. The second indication is more interesting than the first, since it speaks of the Alans ' stay in the region called Scythia by the author. This indicates that Ptolemy considered Scythia to be the ancestral homeland of the Alans. At the same time, the attribution of the European Alans to the Scythians additionally indicates that the Alans came from Scythia to the lands called Sarmatia by Ptolemy.

Two other authors of the second century AD write about the ethnic origin of the Alans. Arrian calls the Alans Scythians (Contra Alanos), and Dion Cassius - Massagetes (LXIX. 15). Both authors state this as a fact, without giving it any explanation. Ammianus Marcellinus also describes Massagetov as Alan. He mentions the Alans both in Europe and in Asia; in Europe, the Alans are recorded by him several times (XXII. 8. 31. 38. 42). These Alan Ammianus Marcellinus calls "European". The non-European Alans are found in his texts describing the deep spaces of Asia: "Around the gorges and projections of the mountains called Imava and Apurian, within the Persian borders, live the Scythians, adjacent to the Asian Sarmatians and touching the extreme limits of the land of the Alans "(XXIII. 6.61). Where to look for these "extreme limits" can be seen from the following fragment: "Near the settlements of the Amazons live Alans facing east... Their possessions approach the Asiatic lands and extend, as I have learned, as far as the Ganges River ...(XXXI. 2.13). The Amazons, according to Ammianus, lived between the Don and the Caspian Sea (XXII. 8. 27). Thus, noting that "near the settlements of the Amazons live Alans facing the east," the author seems to exclude the Volga-Don interfluve from the Alans ' habitat zone, indicating that they live in the east. What the author meant when he spoke of the Persian borders can be seen from the following passage of his text: "The most important provinces of Persia ... The following are: Assyria, Susiana, Media, Persia, Greater Karmania, Hyrcania, Margiana and the lands of the Bactrians, Sogdians and Saks, then Scythia on the other side of the Imai and up to this mountain... "(XXIII. 6. 14). Thus, Ammianus Marcellinus places Scythia in Persia, which is consistent, and possibly goes back to Ptolemy's data.

Ammianus Marcellinus also mentions mountains associated with the Alans: "Beyond it (i.e., beyond Tanais) stretch the endless steppes of Scythia, inhabited by

5 Abaev V. I. Osetinsky yazyk i fol'klor [Ossetian language and Folklore], Moscow, 1949, p. 156.

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the Alans, who got their name from the mountains... "(XXXI. 2. 12). Since the Alans are mentioned here not in Europe, but in Scythia, these mountains were also located, according to Ammianus Marcellinus, in Scythia, which coincides with the localization of the Alan Mountains in Scythia by Ptolemy. In addition, it is important that, according to Ammianus, it is from these mountains that the Alans got their name.

The characteristics of the Alans as Scythians in Ptolemy and as Massagetes in Ammianus not only do not contradict, but even complement each other. If the ethnic definition of the Alans as part of the Scythians is quite broad, then the indication of their Massagetian origin narrows the circle of peoples from among which, according to Dion Cassius and Ammianus Marcellinus, the Alans could stand out, since ancient authors traditionally also refer to the Massagetes as Scythian tribes. In any case, both authors consider Scythia as the region from which the Alans came.

Apart from Ptolemy and Ammianus Marcellinus, the Alans are not recorded in Asia by any of the ancient authors, but we find this ethnonym in Chinese dynastic histories. At Hou Han Shu ("History of the Late Han Dynasty" - 25-220 AD) states: "The domain of Yancai was renamed Alanya; it is dependent on Kangyu. The climate is temperate; a lot of pine, broom and feather grass. The customs and dress of the people are similar to those of Kangyu. " 6

The description of Kangyu in the Hou Han Shu is absent, but based on earlier Chinese sources (Shi ji = "Historical Notes" - II century BC, "Han shu" = "Chronicle of the [Early] Han State" - I century BC), taking into account the relative position of Davan (Ferghana) and Kangyu, it can be concluded that the main territories of Kangyu were the Middle Syr Darya and adjacent areas. With such a localization of Kangyu, a search for the territory occupied by the Yancai domain (which was located 2,000 li northwest of Kangyu 7) leads us to the Aral Sea region and the Syr Darya in its lower reaches. If we compare the information of Chinese sources with the data of Ptolemy, then the Alanors are localized in the territory of Kangyu, and the Alans-Scythians-in the territory of Yancai-Alanya. One nation, as we can see, finds itself on the territories of two different possessions. This small paradox can be explained by the fact that, as A. S. Skripkin rightly pointed out , the renaming of Yancai to Alania indicates the conquest of Yancai by Kangyu forces of the Alans within the framework of the Kangyu policy 8, i.e. the renaming and subordination were simultaneous events. At the same time, part of the Alans (alanorsa) remained on their ancestral lands in Kangyu.

When exactly Yancai was renamed to Alanya, the source does not specify. In the Hou Han Shu, it is reported that the description of the "possessions of the Western Region" is based on the notes of the dignitary Ban Yong, compiled in 125 AD. 9 In the description of these possessions (there are 23 in total), there is evidence that some of them sent embassies after 125 AD (Guili, Yutian, Daqin, Tianzhu, Sule, Harashar, and Back Cheshi). This could extend the time frame to the end of the second century AD, when information about Kangyu could reach China. However, the fact that all these possessions, with the exception of Daqing (Roman Empire), were located in the immediate vicinity of China, and the westernmost of them was Sule (Kashgar), does not allow us to consider their embassies as possible sources of information about Kangyu in China. At the same time, in the description of Anxi , which researchers identify with Parthia10, there is evidence that this state is adjacent to Kangyu in the north and repeatedly sent embassies to China until 101 AD. In 97 A.D., the Chinese governor Ban Chao sent an official named Gan Ying to Daqin as an envoy, who "satisfactorily

6 Bichurin N. Ya.Collection of information about the peoples who lived in Central Asia in ancient times. II. Moscow-L., 1950. p. 229.

7 Ibid., pp. 150, 186.

8 Skripkin. Asiatic Sarmatia, pp. 204-205.

9 Bichurin. Collection of information ... II. p. 221.

10 Malyavkin A. G. Tang chronicles on the states of Central Asia. Novosibirsk, 1989, p. 198.

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he described the climates and rare products of the countries he traveled" 11 . Information about Kangyu and Yancai could have entered China both from Gan Ying and through the embassies sent to China by the Anxi state, i.e. not later than 101 AD, but not earlier than 9 AD (the time of the fall of the Early Han Dynasty). I think it is impossible to establish the actual date of Yangcai's submission to Kangyu based only on Chinese dynastic histories.

The following account of the state of Alania is found in Wei Lue (Review of Wei), a work written in the middle of the third century A.D.: "There is also the state of Lu, the state of Yan, and the state of Yancai, otherwise called Alan. They are all of the same customs as Kangju (i.e. Kangyu). They border Daqin to the west and Kangju to the southeast... they are adjacent to a large lake / swamp; in former times they were very dependent on Kangju, but now they do not depend on it." 12 So, we find a second and much later evidence than in the Hou Han Shu, indicating that the state of Yancai has another name-Alan. The presence of Alania in the Aral Sea region in the third century, and at the same time, since the middle of the first century AD, the fixation of Alans in the Northern Black Sea region indicates that not all Alans left for the west and some of them remained in the East.

Another description of the state of Yancai, and probably the last one, if you don't count the repetition in "Bei Shi" ("Chronicle of the Northern states" - VII century), contained in "Wei Shu" ("History of the Wei Dynasty" - 384-534): "The state of Sute (Sogdak, Sogdiana) is located in the west of Tsongling (Pamir); in ancient times it was called Yancai, another name was Wennasha. They live near a large lake / swamp, located northwest of Kangju... " 13 .

Thanks to the latest evidence, we have two more names for the territory, which in "ancient times" was called Yancai and Alanya, and later became known as Sute and Wennasha. It is extremely difficult to determine the time when the Yancai-Alanya domain received the other two names. We can only state that the name Wennasha is earlier than Sute. It could have co-existed with the names Yancai and Alanya, which is not reflected in the sources. We will return to the interpretation of the name Wennash later.

So, the initial territory from which the Alan expansion begins is Kangyu. This possession became known to the Chinese from the second century BC, but neither in the second nor in the first century BC Alans are recorded on its territory. Thus, their entry into the historical arena should be attributed to the first century AD and not later than the middle of it, since it was in the middle of the first century that the Alans were already recorded in the area of Tanais and Maeotis. The situation that contributed to the emergence of a new ethnic unit is inextricably linked to the political situation of Kangyu.

In the second century BC, according to "Shi ji", Kangyu appears as an ordinary possession. It recognizes the power of the Huns in the east and the Yuezhi in the south, and has up to 90,000 troops .14 In the first century BC, according to Han Shu, the political situation changed dramatically. Kangyu behaves haughtily, proudly and defiantly towards China, "has five small possessions under him" and has an army of 120,000 people .15 The increased power of Kangyu can hardly be explained only by the favorable demographic situation. Most likely, it was caused by the entry of a new and significant mass of nomadic population into Kangyu, which made it possible to increase the army by 30,000 people. The influx of this population can be attributed to the infiltration of the Yuezhi into the Kangyu environment, since it is they who have experienced a reduction in the army in the first century BC. If in the second century.

11 Bichurin. Collection of information ... II. pp. 217, 225.

12 Zuev Yu. Sarmato-Alans of the Aral Sea region (Yancai/Culture of nomads at the turn of the century (XIX-XX, XX-XXI centuries): Problems of genesis and transformation. Proceedings of the international Conference. Almaty, 1995, pp. 39-40.

13 Ibid., pp. 45-46.

14 Bichurin. Collection of information ... II. p. 150.

15 Ibid., pp. 186-187.

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The army of the Yuezhi ranges from 100,000 to 200,000 men, whereas in the first century BC it was only 100,000 .16 These figures are not the only argument in favor of the legitimacy of establishing a connection between Kangyu and the Yuezhs.

For the first time, the ethnonym "yuezhi" appears in Sima Qian's work "Shi ji". His story about the Yuezhi is repeated many times in later Chinese sources. This information is summarized as follows.

North of the Great Wall of China, between the Dunhuang and Qilianshan ranges (present-day Gansu Province in northern China), the Yuezhi, the easternmost group of Iranian-speaking nomads, roamed. In the middle of the second century BC, the Yuezhi were defeated by the Huns and retreated to the west .17

The defeat of the Xiongnu divided the Yuezhi into two parts: the big Yuezhi and the small Yuezhi. The small Yuezhi "out of little effort" could not follow the others and stayed in the "southern mountains". The great Yuezhi, in their westward march, reached the Se people's domain and seized their lands. The territories occupied by the Se people were located to the north of the Tien Shan, mainly in the Semirechye region (South-Eastern Kazakhstan and part of Northern Kyrgyzstan). The Se ruler retired to the south and conquered the state of Gibin (Northern India), but part of the Se people remained on their lands under the rule of the Yuezhi. The Yuezhi's stay in the conquered territory was not long, as their long-time opponent, the Usuni, defeated the Yuezhi and forced them to withdraw further to the west. "The Wusun Gongmo remained on his land: therefore, the branches of the Sei and Yuezhi tribes are located between the Wusun people." 18

The Yuezhi left the land of the Se people, passed through Davan (Ferghana), invaded the land of Dasha (Greco-Bactria) and conquered it. On the ruins of Greco-Bactria, the Yuezhi created the Kushan Empire. Strabo (XI. 8.2) and Pompey's Tpora (XLI, XLII) report the conquest of Greco-Bactria by nomads. These authors are unfamiliar with the name yuezhi, but they know Asiyas, Tokhars, and Sakarawls (Sakarauks). Following the example of many researchers, I consider it possible to identify these peoples with the nomads known to Chinese chroniclers in the following way: Asians with Usuns, Tokhars with Yuezhs, Sakaravly-Saks with the Se people.

There are no reports of Yuezhi infiltration in Cangyu in early Chinese sources, but in the "Wei Shu" in the description of the Kang state there is the following information: "The Kang Sovereign House is a branch of the Cangyu House. Moving prematurely from place to place, he has no attachment to a settled life. Since the Han Dynasty, succession to the throne has not been suppressed. Actually, the ruler is called Vin (Wen according to other authors ' translations-T. G.); he comes from the House of Yuezhi, who originally lived on the northern side of the Qilianshan ridge in the city of Zhaowu; but after the defeat of the Huns, he crossed the Onion Mountains (Pamir - T. G.) to the west and founded a kingdom. It was divided into many ruling families and established itself in the ancient kingdom of Kang. These clans, in memory of their original origins, all retained the nickname Zhaowu... It has a stay by the Sabao River in the town of Aludi... Kan is considered a strong state. Most of the possessions in the Western Region, such as Mi, Shy, Cao, He, Little An, Nashebo, Unahe, and My, were subdued to him. " 19

The fact that the Kang state is called a "branch of the Kangyu House" allows us to consider it the legal successor of Kangyu. This is also indicated by sources later than "Wei Shu", where the succession of Kang or its dependent possessions from Kangyu is repeatedly noted 20 . In addition, the character for the name "Kang" coincides with the first character in the word "Kangyu". In the description of Kang in Wei Shu, it is stated not only that Kang is a "branch of the Kangyu House", but also that it is a part of the Kang Family.

16 Ibid., p. 183.

17 Ibid., pp. 151, 183.

18 Ibid., p. 191.

19 Ibid., p. 271.

20 Ibid., pp. 271, 280-281, 310-311.

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the rulers "come from the House of Yuezhi", and the description of the movement of the Yuezhi to the west completely coincides with the reports of early sources.

It should be borne in mind that there are serious objections to establishing Kang's interaction with Kangyu. Thus, B. I. Vainberg, based on the analysis of tamga-like signs, came to the conclusion that the Kang domain, which had other names (Sivangin, etc.), was identical to the Samarkand Sogd and had a ruling dynasty associated with the Yuezhi of the Zhaowu House, different from the Yuezhi-Kushan. At the same time, Kang, in her opinion, had nothing in common with Kangyu, and the indication of the continuity of Kang from Kangyu is nothing more than a mixture of ideas about Kang and Kangyu in Chinese chroniclers .21

A detailed analysis of all the facts confirming the connection of Kangyu with Kang and with the Yuezhi is not part of the task of this paper (a separate study will be devoted to this problem), but some important facts for our topic should be paid attention to. Ptolemy, describing the Central Asian region, placed the Tochars identified with the Yuezhi not only in the lands of ancient Greco-Bactria, but also in the northern regions of Sogd (VI. 12. 4). This confirms some of B. I. Vainberg's conclusions. However, it is in Sughd (but not in Samarkand), in my opinion, that three of the five small possessions of Kangyu described in Han Shu should be localized .22 S. P. Tolstov [23] and V. V. Barthold [24] expressed the opinion about such localization of these possessions , and a number of researchers believed that around the turn of our era Sogd was subordinated to Kangyu [25].

It is unclear whether the Samarkand Sughd was subordinated to Kangyu in the Han period, but the fact that during the Wei period (386-534) the capital of the Kang domain was not located in Samarkand, follows from its location on the Sabao River in the city of Aludi, the localization of which is unknown. In the seventh century. Kan has already been localized in Samarkand. This follows from the information describing the relative position of Kang and its dependent possessions, which is given in the Bei shi, a dynastic history describing the post-Wei (534-581) and Sui (581-618) periods of Northern Chinese history, as well as from the direct reference to this in the Xin Tang Shu ("New Chronicle of the Tang State" - 618-907).

The description of Kang in Xin Tang Shu is somewhat different from the description in Wei Shu: "The Kang domain, otherwise called Samogyan or Limogyan, was called Xiwingin during the Yuan-wei dynasty (Xiwanjin according to other translations. - T. G.)... it lies on the south side of the Nami River ... The nickname of the Sovereign Wen. He comes from the Yuezhi Household. Originally, this House lived on the northern side of the Qilian Mountains in Zhaowu City. After his defeat at the hands of the Tukuesi, he moved south to the Onion Mountains and took possession of what is now the land ... Under the emperor Gao-tsung [650-683]... his possessions were renamed Kangyu governorate... " 26 .

Important in comparing the texts from "Wei Shu" and "Xin Tang Shu" is not only the similarity in the information that characterizes Kang, but also the differences. In Wei Shu, the reasons for the Yuezhi's departure from the Qilian Mountains to the west are linked, as in the earlier dynastic histories, to their defeat by the Huns. The "Xin Tang Shu" does not contain this information, but it says about leaving for the south after the defeat by the Turks. The question of whether both cases refer to the same event, but with the replacement of the Huns by the Turks, I think the answer should be no, and here is why: the Yuezhi movement, according to Wei Shu,

21 Vainberg B. I. Nekotorye voprosy istorii Tokharistana v IV-V vv. [Some questions of the history of Tokharistan in the IV-V centuries]. Buddiiskii kul'tovy tsentr Kara-tepe v Stary Termez, Moscow, 1972, pp. 145-148. Coins of ancient Khorezm, Moscow, 1977, pp. 74-77.

22 Gabuev T. A. On the issue of localization of five" small possessions " of Kangyu //Ancient civilizations of Eurasia. History and culture. Abstracts of the International Conference docl., dedicated to 75th anniversary of B. A. Litvinsky, Moscow, 1998, pp. 33-35.

23 Tolstov S. P. In the footsteps of the Ancient Khorezm civilization, Moscow, 1948, p. 144.

24 Bartollo V. V. Sochineniya [Works], Vol. 2, Part 1, Moscow, 1963, p. 177.

25 Me Govern W.M. The Early Empires of Central Asia. N.Y., 1939. P. 134; Tarn W.W. The Greeks in Bactria and India. Cambr., 1951. P. 307.

26 Bichurin. Collection of information ... II. pp. 310-311.

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It occurs from east to west and leads them to the "ancient kingdom of Kan", where the ruler later settles on the Sabao River in the city of Aludi. In Xin Tan Shu, the movement is from north to south, and the ruler settles in Sivangini (Samarkand) on the Nami River (Zeravshan). Obviously, in these two cases, we are talking about different events. In the first case, it is the Yuezhi infiltration of the "ancient kingdom of Kang", which, as the context suggests, should be identified with Kangyu. In the second , the defeat of the Kang-Kangyu ruler from the Turks and the transfer of his headquarters to the south, to Sivangin.

If the first event can be dated to the Early Han period, then the date of the second can be set approximately. It cannot be earlier than the time of writing "Wei Shu", i.e. the middle of the VI century AD, when Kang is localized on the Sabao River in the city of Aludi, and later than the beginning of the VII century, i.e. the time of creating" Bei Shi", when Kang is localized in Samarkand. So, until the middle of the sixth century, the capital of Kang-Kangyu was located somewhere to the north of Samarkand, but many possessions in Sughd were subordinate to Kang, and by the seventh century, the capital of Kang was already moved to Samarkand.

Noteworthy is the generic name of the rulers of the state of Kang-Wen. The hieroglyph that denotes it coincides with the initial hieroglyph in the word "Wennasha", which was one of the names of the Yancai - Alanya domain. An interesting explanation of the name Wennasha, proposed by Japanese researchers: in their opinion, the first character - "wen" in the word "Wennasha" - is a proper name 27 . This suggests that the generic name " Wen " belonged not only to the rulers of the Kang state, but also to the rulers of the Yancai-Alanya domain. In turn, the fact that in the Kang state "succession to the throne has not been suppressed since the Han Dynasty" indicates that the rulers of these possessions in Han times belonged to the same ruling Yuezhi house. The earliest mention of princes who had the hieroglyph "wen" in their name is recorded in the "Han Shu" in the first century BC, in the territories to the north of China 28 .

The hieroglyph "wen" that interests us is present in the name that the Xiongnu ruler (shanyu) gave to one of his subordinate princes - "wenouto-wang". B.C. Taskin, the author of the translation and commentary to the text in which wenouto-wang is mentioned, did not comment on this name in any way and gave its spelling with a small letter as Bichurin translated the entire group of hieroglyphs that make up the word "wenouto-wang" as "sentry Vin-prince" (Wen) 29 . At the same time, the characters transcribed with the word "oto" do not mean "sentry" in Chinese. Most likely, N. Ya. Bichurin chose the definition of "sentry", not finding any other semantic explanation.

In Chinese dynastic histories, the term "wenouto-wan" is found only once and only in the above text. But the term "oto" occurs repeatedly, but without the hieroglyph "wen" and sometimes with the word "wang" - prince. B.C. Taskin, analyzing several fragments of Chinese chronicles ("Shi ji", ch. 110; "Han Shu", ch. 94a, l. 316, 32a, ch. 94a, l. Zba, Zbb, ch. 946, l. 56), came to the conclusion that "the oto does not mean border outposts or observation posts, but an armed camp of considerable size, which was able to repel the attack of several thousand people... It is quite acceptable to identify oto with the Turkic term ordu-horde ".30 N. N. Kradin, supporting this conclusion of B. S. Taskina, believes that oto is a group of nomads gathered in one large camp, and the title "oto-van" was given to the administrator who manages this division .31

27 Shiratori К. Study on Su-t'e or Sogdiana // MTB. 2. 1928. P. 98; Enoki К. Sogdiana and the Hsiunh-nu // CAJ. V. I. N 1. 1956. P. 59.

28 Taskin B. S. Materials on the history of Xiongnu. Issue 2. Moscow, 1973, p. 46.

29 Bichurin. Collection of information ... I. P. 99.

30 Taskin B. S. Materials on the history of Xiongnu. Issue 1. Moscow, 1968, pp. 131-132.

31 Kradin N. N. The Xiongnu Empire. Vladivostok, 1996, p. 129.

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Sharing the point of view of these researchers, I would like to note that the Xiongnu had a lot of nomadic units of the "oto" type and were headed by their rulers, called "wangs" by the Chinese - princes. But the presence of the word " wen " in combination with the title "oto-wan", met once, suggests that the name "wen" could be, as in the case of the rulers of the Kang state, a generic princely name.

It is risky to build concepts on the mere coincidence of the characters that the Chinese used to define foreign concepts, but the fact that the text contains geographical references that allow us to localize the lands of Wenouto-wan makes it possible to do this in a cautious way.

Wenouto-wang's land, as the text makes clear, was located "opposite Zhanye County." This district is mentioned in Chinese sources many times and most often together with Jiuquan County and the Dunhuang Mountain Range .32 Jiuquan County was located in the immediate vicinity of Zhanye, and the Qilianshan Mountains (on the border of these counties) are the Richthofen Range in Gansu Province , 33 i.e., the ancient Zhanye County was located in the territory of modern Gansu Province. The immediate proximity of the Dunhuang range to Zhanye makes it possible to refer to the texts "Shi ji" and "Han Shu", in which the Dunhuang and Qilianshan ranges limit the territory of the original Yuezhi habitat:" ... initially it (i.e., the big yuezhi) roamed between Dun - Huang and Qilian-shan " 34.

Thus, the territories occupied by Wenouto-wang at the end of the first century BC and the territories of the original habitation of the Yuezhi before their defeat by the Huns in the middle of the second century BC coincide. Furthermore, the Bei shi states that the lands of the lesser Yuezhi, who did not follow most of their people westward after their defeat by the Huns, were located between the Xi-pi-ching and Zhang-ye regions. 35 The location of the Zhanye region in present-day Gansu Province was mentioned above. As for the Xi-piihin (or Siping) region, its location in the modern Chinese province of Qinhai, i.e., to the west of Gansu, 36 suggests that in this case we are talking about approximately the same territory. Also, in "Jiu Tang Shu" ("Old Chronicle of the Tang State"), i.e., in a Chinese source later than the "Bei Shi", it is reported: "The ancestors of the Yuezhi people used to live in Zhanye, in the city of Zhao'u, located north of the Qilian Mountains." 37 So, in the Chinese chronicles of different times, there is an amazing stability in securing the same territory for the Yuezhi. Initially, it records the Yuezhi before the defeat of the Huns, and a few centuries later the remnants of this people, i.e. the small Yuezhi. In between, we find wenouto-wan here. The noted territorial coincidence, as well as the absence of princes with a similar name among the Huns, allow us to suggest that Wenouto-wang belongs to the Yuezhi and, as a consequence, the possible reality of the existence of the Yuezhi ancestral princely name "Wen".

If we continue to search for arguments in favor of the validity of the proposed yuezhi-Kangyu-alana chain, we should pay attention to some more facts. The " Bei shi "has the following information:" The residence of the My Domain lies on the west side of the Wuhu River ... The Keeper is called Zhaowu. He comes from the House of the Kansk sovereign. Naming it Alanyi " 38 .

In the Xin Tang Shu, the name of Alanmi is repeated: "Lord An, otherwise called Buho, or Buhe... The prince's residence is located in Alanya. Previously, these lands belonged to the Kangyu appanage prince Ji

32 Bichurin. Collection of information ... I. p. 72, 79, 187; II. p. 164, 171, 200, 209.

33 Taskin. Materials ... Issue 1. P. 148.

34 Bichurin. Collection of information ... II. pp. 151, 183.

35 Ibid., pp. 266-267.

36 Tsykhai (Sea of words). Shanghai, 1948. p. 1222 (in Chinese).

37 Malyavkin. Tang Chronicles... p. 257.

38 Bichurin. Collection of information ... II. p. 287.

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(Gi on N. Ya. Bichurin. - T. G.) 39 . In the same source, there is also a mention of the city of Alanya: "During the Hsien-qing era (656-661), Anxi County was created in the city of Alan, and its prince Zhao'u Sha was appointed ruler of the county." 40

Important for us in the above information is not only the fact that in the early Medieval period in Central Asia there were still names associated with the ethnonym "Alans", but also the fact that in both cases these names are related to the Kansk - Kangyu state. In one case, the prince of Alanya "comes from the House of the Kansk sovereign", in the other-the cities of Alanya and Alan were located on the lands of the Kangyu appanage princes, being their residence. In addition, the aforementioned princes were called Zhao'u (Zhaowu), which indicates their connection with the Yuezhi.

So, Alan's connection to Kangyu and the Yuezhas is beyond doubt. At the same time, you should not put an equal sign between Alans and yuezhs, but I think it is legitimate to consider the latter as a component of the Alans.

Concluding the list of facts related to the stay of Alans in the Central Asian region, I would like to note that Alans are repeatedly recorded here in the early Middle Ages. I mean not only the presence of toponyms like Alan-kaly41, but also the recognition by researchers of the participation of the Alans in the ethnogenesis of many Central Asian peoples, but also a direct indication of their presence here as a people.

In "Sui Shu" ("Chronicle of the Sui State" - 581-618), a source describing the events of the late VI and early VII centuries AD, lists 45 tribes called Tele. Among them, the Alan tribe is also mentioned. The list of Korean tribes (including the Alan tribe) is repeated in later sources: "Bei shi", " Tong dian "(VIII c.), " Tai ping huanyu ji "("Description of the Universe during the reign of Tai ping sin Guo" - X c.) 42. A. G. Malyavkin considers that the Tela tribes are all known to the compilers of the chronicles of the tribes scattered on the steppe from the Caspian Sea to Manchuria43 . Unfortunately, due to the lack of information, we cannot locate these alans, although the very fact of their mention is important.

More interesting information about the Alans in Central Asia in the medieval period can be found in the writings of al-Biruni (973-ca. 1050). Explaining the existence of channels near the Jeykhun River (Amu Darya), al-Biruni reports about its lower reaches: "It flooded many areas for a long time and destroyed (them) as well; the inhabitants of the river were not able to survive. they moved to the coast of the Khazar (Caspian) Sea. This is the family of the Alans and the Ases, and their language is now mixed with Khorezm and Pecheneg. " 44

The localization of Alans and Aces in the lower reaches of the Amu Darya and in the Aral Sea region coincides with the localization of the state of Yancai-Alania or Kangyu in the period of its maximum power. In addition to stating the fact of the Alans ' presence in this territory, it is interesting to point out the ethnic kinship, if not identity, of the Alans and the Asovs ("this is a clan").

The solution to the question of the nature of the relationship between Alans and Aces does not look clear. As V. A. Kuznetsov rightly pointed out, some sources identify them, while others differentiate them .45 In the sources of ancient times, we find both Ases (Asians and Asians) and Alans, and independently of each other. In medieval sources, Alans and Aces are most often placed next to or between them with an equal sign. Medieval Aces should be considered as an ethnic group

39 Malyavkin. Tang Chronicles... p. 77.

40 Ibid.

41 Tolstoy. In the footsteps of ... p. 47.

42 Malyavkin. Tang Chronicles... p. 203.

43 Same name. Historical Geography of Central Asia (materials and research). Novosibirsk, 1981. p. 83. Comment 29.

44 Cited by Volin S. To the history of ancient Khorezm / / VDI. 1941. N 1. p. 194.

45 Kuznetsov V. A. Alanskie plemen Severnogo Kavkaza [The Alan tribes of the North Caucasus]. MIA. 1962. 106.P. 126.

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a unit that forms a pan-Alanian ethnic massif and retains in its name the connection with the Asians-Asians of ancient authors.

For the first time, the ethnonyms "Asians" and "Asians" are recorded in Strabo and Pompey Trogus among the nomads who crushed Greco-Bactria. Many researchers identify Asians-Asians with Usuns. M. V. Kryukov believes that the ancient form of the ethnonym "usun" "should be close to asuen" 46 , which resembles the sound of the ethnonym asiani (Asians). Such a clear phonetic similarity of the two ethnonyms allows us to consider such an identification legitimate.

The inclusion of the Usun-Asians in the ethnic environment from which the Alans came could have occurred at different stages of their history. Originally, the Wusuni were in close contact with the Yuezhi and shared the same territory "between Dunhuang and Qilianshan". This neighborhood resulted in a bloody war, which ended with the victory of the Yuezhi. The Usuni fled to the Huns. In the future, having strengthened, they ousted their recent offenders-the Yuezhi from Semirechye, where they moved after the defeat of the Huns. It is in Semirechye that Chinese sources mention the Wusun from the second century BC as Kangyu's western neighbors. Although the inclusion of the Wusun in the western Yuezhi is not recorded by Chinese sources, the presence of Asians among the peoples who conquered Greco-Bactria indicates this possibility. And Pompey Trogus 'phrase" the Asiatic kings of the Tochars " indicates an active interaction between these two peoples (Prol. XLII). As for Kangyu, even if we exclude the version of mixing the Wusun with the Yuezhi before the Yuezhi entered Kangyu, the long-term proximity of the Wusun with Kangyu should have led to their penetration into the territory of this possession. A striking example of this process is recorded in the Han Shu when the Wusun Prince Bihuanzhi moved to Kangyu in the early years of our era with 80,000 subjects .47

So, the presence of Usun-Asians in the territory of Kangyu is certain. It is also obvious that in the future, the Alans and the Aesir, if we recall al - Biruni, are indissolubly fixed on this territory, being two components of one ethnic whole.

We have identified two components of the alans - yuezhi-tohara and usuni-asii. To these, no doubt, should be added the Kangyu people proper, i.e. the tribes that originally lived in the territory called Kangyu by the Chinese. Future research will show whether the process of Alan ethnogenesis took place in the entire territory of Kangyu, or whether the formation of Alans took place only in certain areas of this nomadic power. Now we can only state that it was Kangyu that was the territory where the people known as the Alans were formed for more than a millennium.

The circumstances that led to the appearance of the Alans in the historical arena are unknown, but the facts at our disposal allow us to make some observations. The formation of the Alans took place in the territory of Kangyu, which in the second century BC was nothing more than a "political outsider". In the next two centuries, we see the increased power of Kangyu. The changes in foreign policy that have taken place in Kangyu society have been reflected in the desire to expand its territory. The entry of the Yuezhi and Wusun groups into Kangyu could have contributed to this. Thanks to these peoples, not just a large military force is concentrated on the territory of Kangyu, but most likely a force that is excessive for this territory, and militarily elite. This was due to the fact that in their movement from the northern borders of China to the west, while the "weak" element fell away, the Yuezhs and Wusuns managed to maintain a mobile and combat-ready core, which included equally combat-ready and mobile ethnic units from other tribal groups. At the same time, in order to strive for conquests, change

46 Kryukov M. V. Vostochny Turkestan v III v. B.C. - IV v. N.E. Vostochny Turkestan v drevnosti i rannem srednevekovie [Eastern Turkestan in the third century BC-IV century AD].

47 Bichurin. Collection of information ... II. p. 198.

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it should have happened in the minds of the Kangyu people themselves. After all, in order to behave "haughtily", "proudly", "defiantly", it was necessary to get rid of the psychology of the "political outsider". To use L. N. Gumilyov's terminology, the "passionarity" of the Yuezhi and Wusuns, who wanted new victories and loot, should have contributed to a large change in the consciousness of the Kangyu people. In addition, to rally the population of Kangyu, an idea was needed that could be shared by various tribal groups. This could be the idea of ethno-political unity, the appearance of which should have been promoted by the Iranian language of the nomad groups we are interested in, the general nomadic way of economy, approximately the same type of social relations, and much more. The linguistic and, consequently, ethnic affinity of these peoples is indicated by "Han Shu":" From Davan to the west to the state of Anxi, although there is a difference in dialects, but the language is very similar, and they understand each other in conversations " 48 .

The unifying idea that could be chosen to consolidate the multiethnic Kangyu society was the idea of a common origin. As has often happened in history, people, in difficult times, appeal to the heroic past of their ancestors. Apparently, it was the ethnonym "aguapa", i.e. Arius, which was common to all Iranian-speaking peoples in ancient times, that became the most popular among the Kangyu people and was perceived, if not by everyone, then at least by a significant part of them. Moreover, it was perceived not in the ancient phonetic form-aguapa, but in the new one-alana. The linguistic regularity of the transition from " r " to " I " in these two words was convincingly proved by V. I. Abaev 49 . It is not known how widespread the ethnonym "Alans" was among the population of Kangyu, but many of the above facts indicate its presence on the territory of Kangyu even after the appearance of the Alans in the Black Sea region (Alanorsy, Alanmi, Alan, etc.).

Having formed as a people, the Alans, within the framework of the policy pursued by Kangyu, begin their movement to the west. The Alans were forced to move westward by their neighbors, who had enough military power to limit the Alans ' expansionist aspirations from the east and south. From the south, Kangyu was opposed by the great Yuezhi, who created a powerful Kushan Empire on the territory of Greco-Bactria. From the east, the Usuni and the Huns, who together had a huge military force, were opposed. Further to the east was Early Han China, which achieved its greatest success in its expansion to the west in the first century BC. The maximum possible advance to the north for the nomads was carried out by the Kangyu people. The Yang domain became dependent on the Kangyu, paying them a fur tribute of 50 . In the west, the political situation favored the Alan invasion. In the first half of the first century BC, we observe not only a lack of political unity among the Sarmatians, but also an armed confrontation between various Sarmatian tribal unions. Ancient sources give two vivid examples of this. I am referring to the war of 35-36 AD between the Iberians and Parthians, in which two different Sarmatian factions opposed each other (Tas. Ann. VI. 33), and the war of 49 AD on the Bosporus between the Syracuses and Aorsi (Ann. XII. 15-18). Civil strife contributed to the penetration of the Alans in the area of Tanais and Meotida and allowed them to gain a foothold in the newly conquered lands.

Concluding the conversation about the origin of the Alans, I would like to touch once again on their relationship with the Sarmatians. A number of researchers have repeatedly expressed the idea of the popularity of the ethnonym " Alans "among Iranian-speaking nomads, which ultimately resulted in the disappearance of the names of various Sarmatian tribal groups from the historical arena by the second century AD and their replacement by the ethnonym"Alans". Inclusion of various ethnic components in the composition of the Alans, primarily

48 Ibid., p. 188.

49 Abaev V. I. Scythian-European isogloses. At the junction of East and West, Moscow, 1965, pp. 35-41.

50 Bichurin. Collection of information ... II. p. 229.

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Sarmatian's turn, there is no doubt. It should only be noted that this process was not widespread and short-lived. If in the descriptions of Sarmatia of the I-II centuries AD, the Alans are recorded along with various Sarmatian tribes, then in the IV century in the Black Sea and Azov regions we find mainly Alans.

The disappearance of the names of all Sarmatian tribes from the political map of Sarmatia in the fourth century can be explained by several reasons. First of all, this is the withdrawal of Yazygi and Roksolans from the territory of Sarmatia to the west in the Danube region, as well as the forced inclusion of certain groups of nomads in the Alan union. But the use of military force was not the only factor that allowed the Alans to act as a consolidating force, rallying disparate Sarmatian groups. The ideological basis of such consolidation could most likely be the ethnonym "alans"itself. The attractiveness of this ethnonym is based on its identity with the ethnonym "aryana" - "ariy", which, as already noted, was common in ancient times for all Iranian-speaking nomads. This, apparently, explains the gradual disappearance from the historical arena of numerous Sarmatian tribal associations, while preserving the ethnonym "Alans"on the pages of historical chronicles until the XIV century.

The gradual" assimilation " of various tribal groups by the Alans explains the appearance of this ethnonym in the first centuries of our era in the area from the Middle Syr Darya to the Danube. Of course, not all of these territories were under the rule of the Alans, but it is safe to distinguish several areas that were the centers of Alanian tribal associations. In the first century AD, the Alans can be linked to the lands of Kangyu and Yancai in the east, and the territories around Tanais and Maeotis in the west. In the next two centuries, Alanian groups are recorded on the western coast of the Caspian Sea, in the Central Ciscaucasia and on the Danube.


There are two principal points of view as to where the Alans may have originated from. One of them argues that the Alans were one of Sarmatian tribes genetically linked to the Aorsi, the other presents the Alans as an ethnos deriving from the Eastern Massagetan nomadic entity.

The counterargument of the former opinionis is that the Alans are, in fact, not viewed as identical with the Sarmatians by any ot the ancient authors. At the same time both Dio Cassius and Ammianus Marcellinus mention the Massagetan origin of the Alans. Ptolemaeus uses such terms as "Alans the Scythians" and "Alanorsi". The first term testifies to the fact that the author considers the Alans as coming from Scythia which streches eastwards from the Volga river and encompasses the major part of the Middle East. The Alanorsi are also placed by Ptolemaeus in Scythia, east of the Alans themselves, next to the north-west end of the Tien Shan. The interpretation of this ethnonym as "Alanorsi" which has been suggested by supporters of the former point of view is not correct. The ethnonym is supposed to be understood as "white Alans" instead (V.I. Abayev) and is not to be considered as an intermediate one between the Aorsi and the Alans.

Chinese sources also place the Alans in Asia. How-han-shu (1st с. ВС) mentions that the province of Yen-ts'ai was renamed A-lan-ya, i.e. Alania, and was dependant on Kang-gu. The author of the articles is inclined to view the fact as a confirmation of Yen-ts'ai having indeed been conquered by Kang-gu with the help of the Alans. The geographical situation of both the Alans and the Aorsi as indicated by Ptolemaeus correspond to the data of the Chinese sources in such a way that we may well place the Alanorsi in the territory of Kang-gu whereas the Alans in that of Yen-ts'ai. Upon analizing all the extant Chinese sources we arrive at the conclusion that the formation of the Alanian ethnos took place on the territory of Kang-gu and that certain nomadic tribes which were known to the Chinese as Yueji and Wusun were part of the process. The ethnonym Alans is to be considered as a collective title which emerged in Kang-gu in the late 1st с. ВС or, possibly, the late 1st c. AD and goes back to the ancient name "arya".


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