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History of the Turks v-2

History of the Turks v-2


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Published by aykutovski
Long history of the Turks; history makers
Long history of the Turks; history makers

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Published by: aykutovski on Aug 18, 2008
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An Ancient History of the Turkic People and the Great Steppe A Handbook for Schoolchildren and Their Parents
Moscow This book is about the Turkic people, from its rise in the Altai Mountains and its spillover to the rest of the Eurasian continent. The touching narrative and thrilling legends relate about little-known facts of world history and the life as it really was for the ancient Turkis, their contribution to human civilization, their victories and setbacks. Nothing like this book has ever been published anywhere around the world. Introduction Who Makes a Nation? The Way We Speak Peering Through the Ages An Ivory Tower Discovery A Story Told by the Rocks

A First Wave Rolls from the Altai First Light on the Ancient Altai The Spruce Festival Ancient Altai Artists A Miraculous Discovery Made by Chance How Mysterious the Scythians Really Were A Gift from Tengri The God of Heaven The Turkis in India The Turkis in Iran The Illustrious Khan Erke Bound for the Steppe The Great Migration of the Peoples Khan Aktash Idel The Caucasus The Turkis and Christianity The Cross on Europe's Temples The Turkis and the Byzantine Empire Emperor Constantine the Perfidious The Battle for the Don The Turkis in Europe Rome's Duplicity Europe Arose in the Altai Attila, the Turkic Ruler The Turkis as Priscus of Byzantium Saw Them Battling with Europe's United Army Attila's Death The New Desht-i-Kipchak Appendix The Steppe is our Homeland… … and the Altai is our cradle Introduction Many people, in fact billions of them around the Earth, speak Turkic languages today, and have done so since the beginnings of history, from snow-swept Yakutia in Northeast Asia to temperate Central Europe, from chilly Siberia to torrid India, and even in a good many villages in Africa. The Turkic world is vast and diverse. Turks are its largest tribe. They are the title nation of Turkey, a big country in West Asia and a long-familiar name for the rest of the world for its distinct identity, ancient customs and traditions, and high and unique culture, a subject of a myriad of books and features. At the other end of the Turkic world, the Tofalars, numbering only a few hundred, are not someone you can tell much about. It's a sure bet they are hardly known to anyone beyond their dense Siberian forests and the couple of villages they call home town. But then, the Tofalars, perhaps, still speak the original, ancient Turkic tongue after many centuries of only occasional contacts with outside cultures that could distill their speech with borrowings. The Turkic world is great indeed, and thoroughly enigmatic, too. It is like a cut diamond, its

every facet a nation - Azerbaijanis, Altaians, Balkarians, Bashkirs, Gagauzes, Kazakhs, Karaims, Karachais, Kyrgyz, Crimean Tatars, Kumyks, Volga Tatars, Tuvans, Turkmen, Uighurs, Uzbeks, Khakass, Chuvash, Shorians, Yakut - too many names to reel off in the same breath. Dozens of peoples live in the Turkic world - all alike and different at the same time. You can always tell where they belong, from the special sounds and undertones of their speech. Which means a word that is one thing in one place may be a completely different thing in another. This diversity of meaning makes the Turkic languages fathomless, on top of their simplicity and ancient heritage. They were not always that different, though. There was a time, too long ago, when all members of the Turkic race spoke one tongue that everyone understood in every corner of the Turkic world. Around two thousand years ago, they started for various reasons to move away from one another, geographically and linguistically, from their next of kin and their common tongue, developing their endemic dialects that were a closed book to outsiders. For a while, they were keenly aware of their common ancestry and remembered their shared language that they could still speak at bazaars and fairs drawing merchants from far away. Their common primeval language provided a framework for belles-lettres. Poets and storytellers honed every word of their writings, so they could then caress the ear of the Turkic world at large. Besides, the common language was spoken by government officials mustering the troops or collecting taxes from their subjects. Large empires, from end to end, spoke and wrote Turkic. Is it only the language that makes one Turkic nation different from another? Is it the linguistic diversity that gives brilliance to the diamond we call the Turkic world? Everything is much more complex than it looks on the surface at times. Can you image, some communities on Earth are ignorant of their Turkic origins and will never believe you if you tell them who they are…. They were conquered, at one time or another, and forbidden, on pain of death, to speak their native tongue. They just forgot it clean, out of fear of reprisal. And with it their forefathers and all that had come before…. They were now people without memory or knowledge of their real past. This is the kind of thing that happened to people on our planet, though. Of course, these people have visages that look exactly like the faces of their ancestors (what the genes would then be good for?). Take the Austrians or Bavarians, Bulgarians or Bosnians, Magyars or Lithuanians, Poles or Saxons, Serbs or Ukrainians, Czechs or Croats, Burgundians or Catalans…. Nearly all of them blue-eyed and fair-haired (exact replicas of the ancient Turkic men and women), and all blissfully oblivious of their common roots. Doesn't that strike you? Many unsuspicious Americans, Britons, Armenians, Georgians, Spaniards, and Italians have Turkic blood flowing in their veins. And especially Iranians, Russians and French. They, too, wear the unspoiled faces of their ancient Turkic forerunners, and they, too, are dead sure they are anything but…. A sad enough story. It has been made that way, though - sad, or more accurately, broken before it could be written to the end. The Cossacks are what you can label an exception: a nation - yes and no, a tribe - depends on the way you look at it. If you will understand it, of course. Their true story lurks somewhere behind a veil of cock-and-bull stories. What we have then, in the end, is that the Cossacks have contrived somehow to get lost on the crossroads of Time - they style themselves Slavs, and still remember much of their native Turkic tongue. Indeed, Turkic is palavered informally in some Cossack villages. True, they call it, with tongue in cheek, their kitchen-speak, not native language.

I have pondered for many long years why the Turkic world is so little known to so many people on Earth. Was it by fluke or design? You will hardly find another language with as many nuances and dialects as the Turkic - really, people of common blood, common ancestors, common history speaking different languages and thinking differently of themselves. Why, indeed? I have stumbled on the answer in history, lost in the mist of times, and I am going to tell it in this book, "The Kipchaks: An Ancient History of the Turkic People." It will only be an initiation, to be followed up by two more books - "The Oguz: A Medieval History of the Turkic People" and "A New History of the Turkic People." Who Makes a Nation? Our planet is peopled by many different communities each calling itself a nation. How many are they really? No one knows for certain. Some sources put them at four thousand, and others cite twice this figure. It is difficult, if not impossible, to count them all. The reason is actually that we lack criteria for what is a nation. What and who is it, indeed? Here viewpoints diverge widely. People all look alike, until you stop to think more intently. Actually, they differ in many respects. Even in the way they look to the eye. African countries have predominantly black populations. China is populated by the so-called yellow-skinned race. And Europe is home to the white race. All of them - blacks, whites and yellow-skinned - share a single planet. They are different within as well as without - in disposition, behavioural patterns, world views and social habits. In short, all people are very similar in some ways and completely different in others. Frequently enough, the term "nation" is used to refer to the inhabitants of a country. For example, Azerbajanis live in Azerbaijan, or Georgians in Georgia, the Caucasus. Does this mean that the number of nations is equal to that of countries? Yes and no. A nation suggests people who speak the same language at home or on the street, who love the same songs, dances and festivals, wear similar clothing and eat identical food. They embrace a common religion and take pride in a common history. What is more important, though, is that they share an attachment to their homeland. This is a criterion a person or a nation measures up to. Each of us has a homeland, one and only. A major city like Baku, Azerbaijan's capital, is also home town for people who do not speak Azerbaijani or call it their mother tongue, or profess Islam. Are they - Russians, Jews or Georgians living in Azerbaijan - Azerbaijanis? They certainly are. A nation is more than the people living in a country. People may live in the same city or even in the same house, but follow different customs and life-styles. Are customs or traditions, then, a force that builds up nations? Again, the answer is yes and no. A nation is not a group of people living in the same place. An accidental group, no matter how large, cannot be regarded as a nation, unless it has a common history and common ancestors. A nation arises in a very long and arduous process spanning many centuries. It is a historical development driven by countless factors, many of them appearing completely out of place. Like a growing fruit, a nation needs a certain time to mature by its own rules no one has succeeded in formulating in black and white. At the dawn of human history, people learned to watch and size up one another. Gradually, they accumulated a store of knowledge about the life-styles and cultures of other peoples, their relationships among themselves and with others. In our days, that store of knowledge has

developed into a science called ethnography (ethnos is Greek for a tribe or people), a science that analyses and compares human cultures. Ethnography did not come to be by accident. People had taken note, a very long time ago, that quarrels and fighting inside a country or between neighbouring countries are sparked off by differences. More often than not, differences arise because one community knows little or nothing about its neighbours' customs and life-styles. All people are hurt deeply by anyone offending their traditions. It would be foolish to expect them to behave differently. Ethnography is an important science precisely because it helps maintain the peace on our planet. Knowing your neighbour can keep you out of the trouble's way. A word or a simple gesture is at times enough for your neighbour to smile back and hold out his hand to shake yours. When you smile at another person and wish him well on a holiday, or any day, you both will live with a light heart. Really, ethnography is a science helping to look for ways to live in peace with yourself and with people around you. It won't harm a Georgian to say Salam aleikum to an Azerbaijani, or humiliate an Azerbaijani to utter Gamarjoba in greeting a Georgian. Both will be equally pleased and forget any grievances they may have against one another. The Way We Speak Whichever way you look at it, the language they speak tells two nations apart, in the first place. Speech and writing are central to human existence. People hear what you say, if your words convey what you mean. Every nation has its own language, and every one of its members speaks it and thinks in it the way an outsider never will. This is a point noted by ethnographers as well. A legend that has come down to us from a time when there was no science to give ready answers tells us how people came to speak different tongues. Long, long ago, the legend says, all people spoke one language, so they could understand one another without going to the trouble of learning foreign words. All but a tiny few were, however, drowned in the Flood that happened one day. To escape death next time, the survivors started to build a tower in the city of Babel, as high as the sky, so they could wait out another Flood. The gods were enraged and destroyed the tower, and to prevent people from conspiring to build another tower, they scattered the mortals around the earth, giving them different tongues. Since that time of confusion of the tongues, each tribe could only understand its own language, and so, goes the legend, all the different nations came into being. A legend is an invention, of course, but it provided an explanation of why all tribes were different and why they did not understand one another. And they made do with this explanation for a long time. If we follow the legend, one tribe found itself in mountains overgrown with coniferous forests, in a place where glistening streams emptied into bottomless crystal-clear lakes and where the sky was as high as high can be and clear as the clear itself. That place was the Altai, in the language they now spoke. The most beautiful place on earth, and the dearest of all. What is really "Altai"? Some translate it as Golden Mountains. This is not exactly so. The ancient Turkis read a different meaning into the word. It was the Ancestral Land or Heavenly Kingdom even. Pick whichever you want, that was the name they had for their, and our, homeland. And then, Turkic was the language spoken here from time immemorial. The Chinese were probably the first strangers who heard it being spoken.

At least, the Chinese put down in writing the word tiurk as tuchueh, which translated as "sturdy" or "strong" in their language. They could not be more right about their northern neighbours, the Altaians, who always struck foreigners with their exotic appearance - fairhaired and blue-eyed, very strong and valiant. Tele was another name Chinese wise men had for the Altaians. In fact, for only those of them who were very much like the Chinese themselves in appearance - black-haired and brown-eyed. These differences between the Turkis, noted at the beginning of recorded history, have survived to this day. The word Turki has been around from about that time as well. The Chinese heard it from the Turkis themselves, but misspelled it to make it pronounceable in Chinese, a common practice for people speaking one language and borrowing a word from another language so it could be fit for their tongues. Clever they were, those fabled gods - they even made sounds sound differently in different languages. Peering Through the Ages Chinese chronicles are certainly a priceless source for ethnographers. They are not to be taken fully on faith, however. Chronicles, like people, even the most well-intentioned of them, are prone to exaggerate. An altogether honest person may at times exaggerate things monstrously not because of ill will, but through ignorance of details. Particularly, if he relies on hearsay or rumour. Rumour was what the ancient Chinese chroniclers drew on. As for exact facts, they knew very little, if not at all, about the Turkis. And they put fable to the parchment. They had their reasons for blowing things up immensely - the Turkis had attacked and conquered Chinese lands. The huge Chinese army, the pride of the Yin and Chou dynasties, was defeated by a Turkic army. China had no choice but submit and pay tribute to the conquerors. This is a probable explanation for the liberal use of tiurk - "strong" or "very strong," or else "invincible", completely extraneous for China's northern neighbour. That was perhaps the Chinese way of accounting for the defeat. Many ancient chronicles contain curious facts about events, people or origins of new place names. These are, of course, interesting facts by themselves. Ethnographers, however, rely on different techniques to obtain the information they need. Take, for example, Chinese reports of the Turkis' distinct appearance. How can these reports be verified? They say that fair-haired and blue-eyed people, tuchueh or ding ling in Chinese, lived in the ancient Altai. People of these outward characteristics were unknown to live in China at that time. One chronicler went, for lack of imagination or better examples, as far as comparing the Turkis to monkeys (the blue-eyed species living in southern China). We do not take them to task for this - they had not seen people with such faces before, and so they focussed, of all things, on the outward appearance of the Turkis whenever they set out to write about the strangers. Chinese chroniclers had different words for tele, the other part of the Turkic people who lived in the eastern Altai. They paid no attention to tele looks because those people were little different from the Chinese. Two faces of a single people? Believe me, this does happen, sometimes. Contemporary scientists have corroborated the Chinese chroniclers' astute observations. One of them is Mikhail Gerasimov. The celebrated anthropologist-turned-sculptor learned to

reconstruct the faces and bodies of long-deceased people from their remaining skulls and bones. He was unrivalled in treating the smallest details of heads and faces. This is another branch of the science called anthropology. It is a powerful tool in skilled hands, indeed. Sculptures fashioned by Mikhail Gerasimov, who ultimately became a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, have an astounding precision. His best portraits of ancients include the Russian czar, Ivan the Terrible, Russian Admiral Ushakov and the great Turkic astronomer, Ulugh Begh. Gerasimov made some of his famous sculptures from skulls found in mounds, in which ancient Turkis buried their royals. He reconstructed Turkic faces, so now we know how our ancestors looked. And as we look at those faces we wonder again and again - that handsome man, I saw him in the corner store last week. Thank God, little has changed over the millennia. True enough, something has changed, and even very much so at times, in those Turkic faces. But more about that later. My objective, though, is first establishing how and when the Turkis turned up in the Altai. An Ivory Tower Discovery No matter how beautiful, the Tower of Babel legend little suited the scientists, who wanted exact facts, which legends conspicuously lacked, imprecise and foggy as they are. To get these facts, the ethnographers turned to archaeologists. Archaeology is a science that studies ancient cultures through remains to find out where and how people lived thousands of years ago. Archaeologists are rummaging through ruined ancient cities, burials, and deserted caves, peering into the faded outlines of ancient rock drawings, and sifting dust and sand for pottery shards in an attempt to reconstruct a picture of the time long past. The Ancient Altai has drawn archaeologists' attention for almost three centuries, after remains of ancient cultures - enormous burial mounds, tombstones, ruins of palaces, and fragments of sculptures in styles without parallel anywhere in the world - were discovered here accidentally on deserted land plots in the 18th century. Scientists who came here to investigate were in for another big surprise - some of the local rocks showed impressive drawings and mysterious characters drawn or carved by ancient artists. All of them as good as new and still waiting to be researched in depth. Who were the people that left these priceless cultural treasures? Who lived on these desolated lands? No answer could be given to these and many other questions for much of the intervening centuries. The Altai remained an enigmatic Treasure Island in the centre of Asia, cloaked in a fog of mystery. Generations of European scientists have tried unsuccessfully for over a hundred years to unravel what they thought an unassailable puzzle of the Altai. The brightest minds in archaeology had no inkling of where to look for an answer. Finally, they gave up trying, deciding by consensus that the "dead" lettering belonged to a long-extinct race and was unreadable. The cloud of mystery continued to hang over the Ancient Altai. Its inhabitants' traces were, it seemed, on the surface, and multiplied as studies went on, but their profusion did not add clarity to the challenge. The invisible race kept its secrets locked up. Professor Vilhelm Thomsen of Denmark was the first scholar to succeed in deciphering the baffling lines of rock lettering. He was no archaeologist, but he was an accomplished linguist. Linguistics is generally concerned with the world's languages, dead and living alike. It has

made a weighty contribution to our knowledge about ancient Turkis. But it has not said its last word yet. This science offers enormous prospects and its greatest discoveries are yet to be made. Professor Thomsen succeeded where archeologists had failed. He achieved his success routinely in the quiet setting of his workroom without ever going to the distant Altai. He announced his discovery in Denmark on December 15, 1893. It was as unexpected as it was astounding. On that day, Professor Thomsen presented his report to the Royal Danish Scientific Society, revealing the principal secret of the Ancient Altai, its "dead" race, to the world. The Danish professor deciphered the mysterious rock inscriptions of the Altai's ancient inhabitants - and found them to be plain Turkic. Everything seemed to be in place now - the Ancient Altai was the Turkis' homeland and cradle of the Turkic people, as we know them today. No one found courage or evidence to contest Professor Thomsen's findings. So convincing and uncontestable they were. Nor did anyone hasten to side with him. A curious situation emerged: the report unveiled a scientific discovery that was not, in formal terms at any rate. Chinese manuscripts found decades afterward also spoke about the Turkis who lived in the Ancient Altai. The veil of secrecy appeared to be lifted in the 19th century already. But that was actually not the case. Scientists suddenly found their efforts being frustrated by politics and powerful people who wanted the truth to be concealed. A Story Told by the Rocks Do politicians need so much to have history told the way they want? Really, they have their own, twisted view of history. They loathe the truth. They only want to see politics everywhere, in their own light at that. They appeared to miss the inscriptions immaculately interpreted by Professor Thomsen. They certainly had their own reasons to act the way they did. Politicians had doubts, waiting for fresh findings to come. And right they were. Unless we know exactly when and how the Turkis first settled in the Altai, we cannot claim to know anything much about the history of the Turkic people. Archaeologists continued excavations until they went back in history to a time when no nations, even the Turkis, existed and there was no one to write on the rocks for the simple reason that humans living in the Altai in those distant ages could not speak articulate words, so they made themselves understood by gestures and a few discordant sounds. That was the age of brute primitive tribes that lived everywhere around the planet. Judging by archaeological artifacts, primitive tribes first came to the Altai about two hundred thousand years ago. They came from the region known today as Indochina, southeast of the Altai, where the oldest human settlements in Asia, around a million years old, have been unearthed. There is evidence of tracks left by primitive people leading from Indochina to the rest of Asia, to America and Europe. It was a kind of the Promised Land, a sort of breeding ground for the bulk of humanity, in particular, all Mongoloids and Europoids. Why did the ancients take to the Altai Mountains? Any answer would only be a guess. Their scenic beauty? Hardly ever. More probably, the mountains gave them safety and enough food game. Indeed, people living in that distant past did not fare much better than animals they hunted or were preyed on. They lacked weapons to defend themselves against predators or tools to make their life easier. For security reasons they lived high in the mountains or deep in dense forests where they had a higher chance to survive and hide from danger, their deftness and senses being their only expedients.

Two hundred thousand years is quite a long time by human standards. Enough for traces of the first humans who settled in the Altai to be lost. And yet, we know relatively much about them, thanks to the archaeologists' persistence and luck. We know, for example, what they looked like, what they did to scrape a living from their harsh surroundings, where they lived, which game they hunted and what clothing they wore. We owe this knowledge largely to the efforts of Alexei Okladnikov, an archaeologist of great talent and vigour. He appeared to see through the thick rock mass, across ages. He was propelled to fame by accident. Walking slowly one day along the footpath on the Ulalinka River bank in the public park in Gorno-Altaisk, the area's central city, the unconventional scientist, as he was already known at the time, was deep in thought, when high eye caught sight of a weird pebble among the myriad of others strewn over the place. Stopping to pick it up, Okladnikov made a stupendous discovery, one that made him a celebrity known to millions of people on Earth. Could not be simpler. The pebble was actually a primitive man's tool that set him apart from beasts. Thousands had walked the riverside footpath every day before him, but Lady Luck smiled on him alone. Or was it something else? Okladnikov was a born archaeologist and knew much about the science that was his calling. Picking up that stone tool was more than a stroke of luck. Rather, it was that proverbial Newtonian apple. The pebble in his hand…. He knew that neither the water stream nor winter frosts could give it its shape. This could only be done by human hand. Really, archaeologists are a strange breed. You have to see them relishing possession of a simple chunk of rock. Enthusing in the knowledge that the hand of another human being touched it many thousand years ago and feeling the warmth of that unknown hand. The Ulalinka immediately shot into prominence - a swarm of archaeologists descended on its banks to dig it up. And who else could lead them but Okladnikov himself. A brass band struck up at nightfall every day, as it had for years already, and young people flocked in to have a dance, and older citizens, with nothing else to do at home, came to breathe in fresh air. And each time they were amazed at archaeologists digging up a cave or some other thing at that late hour. The cave, they were to learn much later, was the oldest primitive site in the Altai. After it had been dug out and cleaned up, it was named Ulalinskaya, after the nearby stream. More primitive living sites followed shortly. They yielded stone axes, knives, arrowheads and spearheads crudely fashioned by primitive craftsmen. As years went by, knowledge about the history and cultures of the Ancient Altai built up. Some of the artifacts were totally unique, raising the brows of archaeology gurus. All about them was new and different from anything found at primitive sites elsewhere. To give an example, their stone knives and daggers were razor-sharp, in condition to give an overworked digger a perfect shave. A stone sharper than a razor, can this ever be? Yes, it can. Nowhere else but in the Altai. The fact is that primitive people living in the Ancient Altai could make their knives as sharp as a razor or even sharper. Scientists overwhelmed with doubt argued long and heatedly over this possibility. A modern man put in a mountain setting would never accomplish the feat - he needs strong tools and high-precision machines. How could the Altaic primitive man succeed where moderns fail? As simple as he was himself. To get to the truth, however, archaeologists sought counsel from physicists. Together, they put on numberless experiments. And, finally, they hit on the answer. The Altaic craftsman, they were stunned to learn, did not chip off a stone with another stone, as was the general practice in that primitive world. Instead, he treated a stone with fire and water. His tools were, therefore, without match around the world. True enough, you cannot expose every stone to alternating fire and water treatment. The

only stone that fits this purpose is nephrite, a rare and very strong greenish mineral with black streaks. Nephrite is relatively common in the Altai, and the primitive caveman lost no time putting it to good use. This discovery showed that mountains were more than a convenient place to live in for the Altai's ancient inhabitants. They were a hoard of useful minerals. On this evidence we may assume that the Altaic tribes were the earliest geologists on the planet. They were keen enough to look for rocks they could use to make their stone tools and weapons. Really, geology started on its course in those distant mountain ranges. A First Wave Rolls from the Altai People lived in the Altai's caves for thousands upon long thousands of years, very little, if at all, changing in their way of life - game hunting and fishing continued to provide livelihood. For all the slow pace of prehistoric life, archaeologists sense from the artifacts they find a faster throbbing of life. Change was presaged by metal artifacts (bronze, which is an alloy of copper and tin, was the first metal to benefit the primitive man). They saw in the Bronze Age in the Altai, succeeding to the Stone Age. Again, thousands of years were to pass before people realised the advantages metal had over stone. Stone arrowheads and spearheads continued to be used next to bronze ones for quite a long time. The coming of metal signalled momentous changes in the life of the Altaic tribes. To begin with, a bronze ax was greatly superior to a stone one in felling trees. With logs available in quantity now, man broke out of his primitive environment. His existence no longer depended on the whims of the weather. He came out of the cave into broad daylight. Now, he could choose where to live. He could build his own dwelling. This was really a great watershed, without exaggeration. People could now build warm dwellings from logs. Decades, if not centuries, crawled by before this became a reality, and when it did finally it was a long stride forward. In the beginning, the huts were actually smoke huts. It was not yet a house, as we understand it, nor was it a cave any more, nor a tree branch shelter. It had no windows or doors, or wooden floor. Just walls and a sloping roof. An earth parapet was piled up around the hut, or otherwise the hut was half-buried in the ground. It was an octahedron in plan. The hut was accessed through an entrance, or manhole, on its eastern side (a device that developed into a Turkic tradition for ages to come). Animal hides were hanged up in the doorway for protection against cold and winds, and the floor was covered with dry grass or straw matting. A hearth was made in the centre of the hut, and a hole was left in the roof above it to vent smoke from the interior. Smoke huts were warm inside even in severe Altai winters. Dwellings of the new type were built wherever their owners' preferences lay, usually in a terrain that gave them some sort of advantage. This is where the difference between cave and smoke hut was - you cannot move your cave to a new location, the way you can manhandle the logs. Man severed the umbilical cord that kept him tethered to nature. Coming down from rocky slopes, people gradually built up valleys with their log cabins, clustered into villages. Usually, they settled in places convenient to live and teeming with game. Nowhere else around the Earth did people build their dwellings from logs. At that time log cabins were, without a doubt, the invention of Altaic tribes. A remarkable invention that brought primitive people into the wide-open world. At about that time, some of the native Altaic tribes migrated northwestward to the Ural Mountains. We are not absolutely sure that those were Turkic tribes. In actual fact, the Turkic

people was not yet in existence five thousand years ago, when Altaic villages cropped up far from their homeland. It was not the time yet. Altaic tribes only used a few dozen words that must have sounded like the chirping of a bird - simple and easy. It could hardly be called speech. Uncoordinated sounds reinforced with gestures, or even a few articulated words do not make human speech. They were only the beginnings of conversational language. More centuries were to elapse before they could rightly be called language and people could converse. Altaic tribes migrating to the Urals transplanted their know-how to the new environment they built smoke huts exactly as their forefathers did back in the Altai. They sited their new villages and camps in forests and on riverbanks. Their traces are found now and again in our age. They look amazingly almost like accurate replicas of Altaic settlements. Even their utensils and tools, and much more else, were no different from what they were down in the Altai. Cities, if you could call them that, have been found deserted in the Urals. We may safely assume that their prototypes existed in the Altai as well. Indeed, we know of some ancient Altaic cities. But, I regret to say, they have not been explored or researched. Little comfort from that. But exist they did. Arkaim is the best-studied ancient city in the Urals. By all appearances, it was built five thousand years ago, and its inhabitants smelted bronze from copper and tin they mined nearby. A smelting furnace used to stand in nearly every yard. Fire burned in it day and night. The craftsmen took some of their handiworks as far as the Altai. Then, who lived in Arkaim? Who built it, in the first place? After so much debating, the opponents have very little to show for it. My impression is that the city's residents had Altaic roots. Migrants from the Altai settled in compact communities or colonies in the Urals. Shortly, some of them moved on to the west where the climate was milder and nature more bountiful. Each colony or tribal community (not yet a state, but with rudiments of a nation state or princedom) roamed far and near in search of the land where they could settle and lead a sedentary life for centuries to come. Altaic tribes followed beast trails, untrodden roads, across uninhabited territories of Northern Europe. And as they moved on and away, the itinerant tribes lost touch with their common base and severed their ties with one another. Again, separation and alienation took centuries to have its full effect. After centuries of wanderings, people built up conversational skills and changed their lifestyles. Instead of simple verbal communication accentuated by gestures and mimic, speech was growing more complex, as different tribes developed new sounds and concocted new words to define new notions, unknown to other tribes. Was it surprising then that people who used to speak a common, if simple, language were eventually estranged from one another (a Tower of Babel in fact, rather than in fable?). Scattered by contingency and wanderlust across much of Northern Europe, the next of kin of yesteryear now lived in isolation from the rest of the race, in small communities where everyone was someone's near or not so near relation. Nearby tribes (to be more exact, alliances of tribes) ended up coalesced into peoples speaking different tongues with common Altaic roots. Today, these are the Udmurts, Mari, Mordvins, Komi, Finns, Vepsi, Karelians, and Rus. Each has gone through a centuries-long process of language evolution and custom-building, and every one of them has its own traditions, festivals and life-styles that make up a national culture.

Nation-building is an unpredictable process that takes many long centuries. Don't expect every tribe to develop into a full-blown nation, though. First Light on the Ancient Altai My guess is that the Ural settlers who had not broken their links with the Altai and gone on an occasional visit to their ancient motherland were called a generic name, the Turkis, as also were the Altaic tribes. It is only a guess, without claims to the truth. As Arkaim, Sintasht, and several other Uralian cities rose to prominence, the Altai stepped back into the shadows and humbly waited for its hour of glory to strike. Meanwhile the Altaic tribes were busy discovering the surrounding world and developing new lands. Completely unaware, they were preparing for events that were brewing in the beneficial conditions of local nature. The pioneers were climbing unassailable cliffs and chopping their way through impassable thickets. They crossed turbulent rivers in search of grazing lands for their cattle. Their road to glory was long and tortuous. The pristine Altai nature was giving in reluctantly. They had a special word, taiga, for impregnable mountain slopes overgrown with forests. Taiga is today a household word on all continents and with every nation. Few people know, however, where it originated. At most they suspect it comes from Siberia. Altaic people made good travellers. They could take accurate bearings on the Sun and read the stars for directions. They related their routes to rivers and learned much about them where the rivers sprang and flowed to, and how they behaved in different seasons. In fact, rivers were their only highways, so people started giving names to them. Thence comes geography. Most certainly, rivers had no names to tell one from another in ancient times. They all were katuns, which translates "river". That one and only river that flowed past one's cave or village. Primitive people knew nothing about other rivers or even an inkling there could be any more. After all other rivers had been given names, the Altai's major river, the Katun today, had the privilege of retaining its original name (katun, the river). Another river descending from the white-topped peaks was named the Biya. It is still shown under this ancient name on all geographic maps of the world. The Biya and the Katun roar down the mountain valleys to join in a wide and mighty river, the Ob, which flows as far as the Arctic Ocean, thousands of kilometres to the north. A reminder, all these river names are of Turkic origin. Biya translates as "lord" and Katun as "lady" from Turkic, while Ob is Turkic for "grandma". The names of mountains, rivers and lakes can tell much about the native population - its history and name-giving habits. Going to the roots of a name is as difficult a task as making a discovery in any other science, and the effort deservedly merits a science status - toponymy. Good-faith toponymists are very few and far between, for their science places stringent demands on people wishing to qualify - they have to be profoundly knowledgeable in history, geography, linguistics and ethnography. In short, everything there is to know. Eduard Murzaev was a true luminary in toponymy. His book, "Turkic Place Names", which penetrates into many secrets of the Altai and Europe, is an eye-opener. After you read it, you will see the geographic map in a different light. Take the Yenisei, one of the world's biggest rivers and a household name in Russia. Here, toponymy gives a deep insight into the harmony of sounds making up the word. A very old Altaic village used to stand in the upper reaches of the river. According to an ancient legend, it is the birthplace of the Turkic nation. When Turkis first came here, they called the river Anasu, Mother River.

The river, or more exactly water in general, had a special place in the life of ancient Turkis. It began with the birth of a child who was, immediately after it came into this world, dipped for a moment in the river's icy water, summer or winter. If it survived the chilly bath, it was expected to live healthy and strong, and if not, few pitied the loss. That baptism made the nation sturdy and hardy. Remember tiurk in Chinese meaning strong? Indeed, quite simply. Moderns no long read much sense into the name of the world's deepest and cleanest lake, the Baikal, or the lofty Bai-Kol, the Sacred Lake, in Turkic. Dowsing himself with a bucketful of bracing lake water was a matter of pride for a man. Another great river, springing east of Lake Baikal ridges, carries a different name and its true story is lost in history. The river that is the Lena today used to be Ilin, or East River, for the Turkis. It was the easternmost stream of the Ancient Altai. Several Altaic tribes, or uluses, migrated to its riverside areas at a hard time back home. Turkic has been spoken here from an age lost in human memory. Indeed, the vast expanse known as Sakha (Yakutia) is a veritable preserve of the ancient Turkic world - it has been spared political catastrophes and cataclysms, which it mostly owes to its immense remoteness from today's cross-currents. Actually, the Ancient Altai began with Bai-Kol and Sakha (Yakutia), stretching far to the west, into the boundless Eurasian steppe. It was a vast country, a cradle and home of the Turkic people. Toponymy is surprisingly akin to a precise science. Not only in the case of Turkic names. Chinese, Arabian, Persian and Greek names are, by and large, easy to identify as well. The explanation is simple enough - they reflect national traditions and have always been forcefully to the point. Name-giving, we learn, is a ritual reverently followed by each nation or tribe. The Turkis, for example, were fond of giving names to mountains, but avoided saying them aloud - doing this was a bad omen. The rule was: call that hill whatever you like, but keep it to yourself, and never tell it to me, for I don't want to be visited by misfortune. As a result, a mountain could have two or more names without ever knowing it. People seemed to have their good reasons to nurture this tradition. If we go by the legend, evil spirits lived in the mountains, which they considered their own. They could make a flock suddenly incapacitated with a disease, poison grazing grounds or dry up wells. Sacrifices were offered to those mountain masters and false names were thought up for the mountains, to be purposely shouted about. True, the say-aloud names were, by and large, jumbled and vague, so the evil spirits could be misled and get lost, trying to figure out what was actually what. To give an example, Abai-Koby, which is widely known in the Altai, translates as "Elder Brother's Ravine". Actually, however, this is Bear Gully, the bear being the patron of the place. Or the tongue-twisting name of a mountain - Kyzyy-Kyshtu-Ozok-Bazhy. Today nobody knows where it comes from or what on earth it could actually mean. Locals say it in one breath, though. It translates variously to something like "Winter hut at the mouth in a gorge head." What could that mean, if at all? Anyway, no evil spirit has ever ventured there for lack of the exact address perhaps. The ancient Turkis singled out some mountaintops for obos, or sanctuaries, so they could come here with sacrifices to propitiate their gods or atone their sins. Little wonder, obo is part of some mountain names in the Ancient Altai, like Obo-Ozy or Obo-Tu. A sinner - many of them would come here from far afield - was to haul up to the very top a boulder as big as his sin was. The sinner was free, however, to pick one he thought was the right measure of his sin. The obos were actually built from those atonement stones.

The ancient Turkis deified the mountains, and atonement was sought there. Exactly why? Folk tradition had it that the souls of long-gone ancestors whiffed in here to sit in judgement on a sinner's fate. They shunned all mountains, though, but the sacred ones. How then could a mountain be sacred? On what merits? There's no one around to tell the answers. This is a Turkic mystery yet to be cracked. Don't the old folk know anything about it, and yet keep mum? The Uch-Sumer, the Three-Topped Mount, has always capped the sacred mountain list. It sits in the Centre of the World (Meru in Turkic). Everything began here and will end here, too. It was the holy of holies of the Ancient Altai, so people spoke in low whisper in its holy presence. No game was hunted nearby either. Not even a grass blade picked. Anything you did but pray was sin. More sacred summits would come in succession - the Borus, Khan Tengri and Kailasa. They, too, had long been held sacred by the Turkis. People would come here in their thousands to celebrate festive events. The sanctuaries are still there - remembered by all, but visited by the most devout few. Rivers and mountains were not alone in sharing the ancient Turkis' reverence among themselves. They all were challenged to a place in people's hearts by the Spruce. The Spruce Festival was celebrated once every year, an occasion impatiently awaited by small children and adults alike. This tradition lives on today. The Spruce Festival The Altai is unrivalled for its spruces - tall and slender. The spruce was revered as a sacred tree by the ancient Turkis. It was welcome in every home, and festivals were held in its honour between three and four thousand years back, when people everywhere worshipped no one but pagan gods. Originally, the festival was dedicated to Yer-su, who lived in the centre of the Earth, in a place where deities and spirits took time out for a breather. Next to Yer-su in order of seniority was Ulghen, an old man with a bushy grizzled beard. He appeared to mortals in no other garb but a rich red caftan. In fact, Ulghen was the king of the holy spirits. He presided over their gatherings, sitting on a gold throne in a gold underground palace with a gold gate. The Sun and Moon, too, did his bidding. The Spruce Festival arrived at the height of winter, at what is now December 25, when Day wins over Night and when the Sun lingers for a little while longer underground. Humans prayed to Ulghen, extolling him for the Sun being returned to them safe and shining as ever. For their prayer to be heard where it was addressed, they brought the Spruce, Ulghen's pet tree, into their homes and decorated it with ribbons, and even put gifts next to it for good measure. Merrymaking went on all night - what else would you expect when Night is reeling in defeat, licking its wounds, and Day comes out a proud winner. All night they danced and chanted Korachun, Korachun. Indeed, this is the name of the festival - Let-It-Go in old Turkic. Let Night go and Day stay on and grow longer. Roundelays, or Inderbais in Turkic, with revellers forming a circle around the spruce, went on into the early hours next day. Curiously, they identified the circle with the Sun. That was their way of hoaxing the luminary back into this world. And then they religiously believed that once they made your fondest wish that night it would certainly be fulfilled, sometime. Really, Ulghen seemed never to let people down, not a single time - morning come, Night always started slowly backing down, giving the Sun more time to stay in the sky with each passing day.

The spruce was Ulghen's Tree that linked the daylight world of mortals with the underground world of deities and spirits. Like a sharp-pointed arrowhead, it showed Ulghen the way to the surface and up, or ol, which is "road" or "way" in Turkic. The word is one of the countless Turkic borrowings in the Russian language (where it became yel). Many centuries later, the tree continues to be feted. For some it is Christmas Tree, others celebrate it on New Year Eve. Ulghen, though, has changed its name to Santa Claus, or Father Frost, or whatever. Name-swapping regardless, he still wears that old garb and is the centre of year-end merrymaking, as ever. Round dances are still done around the tree. Few dancers ever give thought to such details as the caftan, fur-trimmed hat, colour belt or felt high boots - the way the ancient Turkis used to dress up their deity, for they knew of no other clothing but the one they wore themselves. If you have doubts, ask the archaeologists, who have these facts on record. Tradition has it that Ulghen could change to a different person, Erlik. Not unlikely, for Erlik was his own brother. It is difficult to establish the truth now, after so much water under the bridge. Is it so important now who was who and how then? Something is more important than that. For the ancient Turkis, Ulghen and Erlik embodied the good and the ugly, light and darkness. We witness this duality on December 25, when the evilest of people can play good and generous. Why not Erlik, then, the symbol of evil as he was. On that December day, he brought gifts to people in his backpack. No one was more overjoyed than children, who scampered looking for him. To coax him they sang and pleaded with him to give them happiness and well-being. Ancient Altai Artists The ancient Turkis had a very keen eye for the world they lived in. They were little afraid of Nature or the elements and boldly faced up to it, trying to understand what comes from where and why. Gradually they acquired a peculiar world outlook and a sizeable store of knowledge about the world. We call it now the unique Turkic culture, like no other existing at the time. Regret as we do, we know very little about it, and rare is a scientist who has thoroughly studied it. Why are we so cock-sure about that? Of course, from the paintings and drawings, thousands of which have been found by archaeologists on rock faces. Untouched by anyone since they were first made in olden times, they amaze the viewer because, in the first place, they are scenes from everyday life, as it was lived then. You must certainly have an inner sense to grasp their message, for every scratch or figure carries a meaning difficult to comprehend for modern humans. A ram, for example, stood for riches and prosperity. A lion carried power and a tortoise eternity and calm, a horse boded war, a mouse promised good harvest, and a dragon represented the Sun, welfare and happiness. A simple image could have a wealth of meaning and provoke a wave of sentiments and thoughts. The drawing captured the life people led, the things they talked about, the forces they feared and worshipped. It was as unpretentious and simple as the people it was intended for. This is precisely why we treasure rock art, which along with language made a nation out of a random and disorderly community. Turkic art originated between three and four thousand years ago. An artist picked subjects for his drawings as life unfolded them before him. Scenes drawn from life are especially precious to scientists - you only have to peer into the drawings to see the rocks come to life to tell the history as it was being made.

It appears that artists had a special preference for yellow or brownish-coloured rocks. No one has come up with a plausible explanation, so we have to accept the facts as they are. Scientists find the drawings in groups all across an enormous cliff face. There must be some sense in this, who knows. The mystery is firmly locked up in the past. No pigments or even charcoal were used by an ancient artist. His brush was a sharp chisel that he used to cut dots, one next to another, so they are formed up into a line. More lines defined outlines of an object the artist wanted to tell the world about. Archaeologists were immensely surprised to see animal figures in rock drawings forming groups of five or ten. Doesn't this remind you of your hand or both, with their five or ten fingers? The artist was certainly aware of what he was doing - no matter how simple their math was, ancient Turkis knew how to count their sheep and horses. And yet, they had trouble measuring time at first. Eventually, the ancient Altai populations could boast a calendar based on an animal cycle twelve years long. An old legend tells us how it came about. A local khan asked people around him to tell him about a war that had been fought in the area long before. No one could tell him when that was - the tribes had no measure for time or how a year could be divided into smaller time periods. The khan, a clever man he was, ordered his tribesmen to corral whatever animals were around and to drive them into the river so they could swim across, for a purpose unknown but to himself. This was promptly done, and no more than twelve animals managed to get to the other bank. A good idea, the khan thought, to give each year the name of one of these lucky animals - the Cow, the Hare, the Snow Leopard, and so on. Taking guidance from this number, the khan decreed the year to be divided into twelve months and twelve major constellations in the night sky to be given names. Legend apart, the twelve-year calendar was prompted to some ancient gurus by the motion phases of the Sun and Moon. It had, we now know from scientists for sure, nothing to do with the khan or his zoo, but was actually based on precise mathematical and astronomic calculations. Don't we owe the twelve-month year to the Altaians? Or twice twelve-hour halves to make the 24 hours we normally call day - one for the day and one for the night so they could square? Very likely. How else would you explain ancient Turkic dating such as this one: "… in the hour of the Horse on the Cow's day of the fifth month of the year of the Snow Leopard?" You won't believe it, everyone knew exactly what happened when. Unbelievable as it sounds, they had animal names instead of plain hours and days. Really, a bizarre way to see the world. Each animal-name year carried attributes everyone was well aware of. The year of the Hare or Sheep presaged disaster or crop failure, while the Snow Leopard, Dog or Cow augured bumper crop and prosperity. An inquisitive explorer could glean much information from ancient Altai drawings. For example, he could learn about their hunting habits. With dogs, of course. The artist was certainly very attentive to detail. In one scene we see a man setting out on a hunt, as we can gather from the bow he has slung behind his back and a leather quiver with a bunch of arrows sticking out of it at his side, followed by a dog. The Turkis' early art was as amazing as it was inordinate. Not because of its artistic merits. Rather because it portrayed everyday scenes of a very distant past, which is much more important for a researcher. It gives him an insight into what real life was like then. Even such details as outlines of beasts, fishes and birds were more than the artist's whim - they were part of tribal spiritual culture. The artists' mood started, around three thousand years ago, add or subtract a few hundred years, to undergo significant change. Animals seemed to be stepping into the background, to

be replaced with human figures. Handsome faces stare at us from the depths of history. You do not feel like turning away from them, or forget them the very minute you walk off. They are actually the portraits of our ancestors, with between a hundred and two hundred generations separating us. Early human sculptures made their appearance in the Altai at around that time. The ancient stone carvers were all mostly inspired by female models. They could only make very crude copies of the originals - the figures were stubby and rough-hewn. But their faces, oh… The sculptors were certainly successful in capturing the sitters' moods. Their cheekbones, a little too heavy and their eyes, crescent-slit the way they are nowhere else, were the Altaians' hallmarks. And they still are today with all purebred Turkis. As far as we can judge from the drawings, ancient Altaians were cheerful folk, fond of singing and dancing. They used to put on shows, so they could do their fiery dances, their hands joined. Their merriment is perpetuated on rock faces. Art is the soul of a nation. It never dies, even if the nation is no more. A Miraculous Discovery Made by Chance Art was not the only thing that set the Turkis apart from other tribes or nations. They also were different because they always wanted to see the world beyond the horizon. They loved to wander and were moved by curiosity to learn more about nature and the mystery of the elements. Strange if they wouldn't, living in the mountains where winters were severely cold and summers suffocatingly hot. Skills and knowledge were all that people needed to make the inhospitable Altai their comfortable home. Around two and a half thousand years ago, a kind of miracle occurred in the Altai. More exactly, it was no miracle at all. It was an event that was to happen, sooner or later, to a talented nation. Back then, someone awake in the dead of night saw a bright flash streaking across the sky and what appeared to be a star plunging to its death on the ground. That was a large black meteorite. Many people spotted the cold motionless stone-like intruder and all walked away unconcerned. All but one, whose name was Temir, who showed a more than momentous interest in the rock. This was the ancient Turkis' first, or at least early, encounter with iron, the Heavenly Metal. Indeed, the meteorite proved to be made of pure iron. In fact, meteorites were not that rare in the ancient world. Thousands of them had bombarded the Earth, and they were a familiar sight in the Altai, as also anywhere else. In Ancient Egypt, for example, iron meteorites were beaten into knives and swords so strong that they outpriced gold. Kings and gentry only were privileged to carry iron weapons. Temir, the inquisitive Altai Turki, did something more than anyone else could elsewhere he invented a smelting furnace to turn iron-containing rock into useful metal. That was one of man's greatest inventions, comparable perhaps to the wheel only in the magnitude of the impact it produced. There are two or three inventions of similar consequences in the history of the human race. They stand a way above all others. Each was a real stroke of genius, destined to live to eternity. No adjective would be too overstretched in describing their significance. Temir put iron within easy reach of everyone. "Face a club-wielding foe with an iron shield," the Turkis could proudly say now. Smacks of a petty boast, but really smelting iron was the Turkic nation's greatest secret that they long refused to share with other peoples. Iron-making skills were handed down from one generation to the next, from father to son by word of mouth. And even then they were not broadly publicised but were confined within

a small circle of trusted families. Strangers were not allowed to come near them. Metal makers and ironsmiths were always among the Turkis' most cherished treasures. A metal maker's son was forbidden to marry a girl from any family but another metal maker, so she could not learn secrets she was not supposed to know. Ironsmiths' work was ranked on a par with the deeds of saints. And rightly so, for iron brought the Turkis prosperity they had never experienced before. They became the strongest and richest nation in the world. Amidst the reigning Bronze Age, they had iron in profusion, so much of it that they could afford to make their kitchenware of it. "Who was that clever guy who sold the idea to Temir?" wondered his kinfolk fondling in their hands the still warm glistening iron ingots Temir had produced out of ordinary chunks of rock (we know those were fragments of iron ore). "Tengri, the God of Heaven, no doubt about it," they guessed. This sealed the role of Tengri as the Altaians' kind patron god. Tengri translates as God of Heaven or the Eternal Blue Sky. Since that time the Turkis have always sought protection and solace from him. Tengri sent his favorite son, Gheser, to the Ancient Altai to teach the tribes to lead a righteous life. Gheser was the first ever Prophet on Earth. The messenger of the God of Heaven, he illuminated people on Tengri. Central Asian peoples have composed many legends about Gheser and his holy deeds. True, Gheser's name has been modified over the centuries, by accident or intent, to Keder or even Khyzer, which is now his most common name among the Turkic people. And he is now best remembered in association with Tengri, the God of Heaven. Gheser is a wise guardian of life on Earth. An immortal hero, who to some people is a bearded old man leaning on his staff, and a strong young man brimming with health and vigour to others. Curiously, the figure of Khyzer (Keder or even Kederles) is common among many nations of the world, those that had links with the ancient culture of the Turkis and their god, Tengri. A keen person will hardly need any persuading to get the message. Legends about Gheser sound like the echo of an age when happiness poured on the Altai Mountains and when the Earth had been cleared from demons and monsters. It was an age when the Altaians discovered iron ore in huge quantities and what they could make out of it and started building cities and villages, when they learned about the God of Heaven and when life was changing beyond recognition. This period in the history of the Ancient Altai was thoroughly researched by Professor Sergei Rudenko, an outstanding archaeologist. True, the great scholar never spoke about Turkis in his writings and he had a different name for the Altaians, the Scythians. Professor Rudenko was neither forgetful nor careless, however. How Mysterious the Scythians Really Were At the time when Sergei Rudenko was digging out evidence of Turkic culture, no one dared speak out or write the truth about it. A scientist risking a mere mention of it could land in jail, or even be shot, in imperial Russia and later, in the Soviet Union. The subject was a strong taboo. What anyone could discuss, without fear of repression, were the Scythians. Their living and burial sites could be unearthed and explored. And discuss and explore them the scientists did. They passed up some Scythian themes, however. Like, for example, the language the Scythians communicated in with one another, where they came from or, what is most important, who they were, in the first place. All these themes were under a harsh ban or rather a tacit covenant among researchers to

avoid discussing them. Did the Scythians come from nowhere and speak a language no one knew anything about? As simple as that, did they just turn up suddenly in the steppes of modern Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, southern Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Hungary? Only to vanish in no time into the unknown. A situation you never see in real life. The Greek writer, Herodotus, was the first European to tell the Western world about the Scythians. In his "History" he wrote about the life of this steppe race and its fetes and beliefs, traditions and fighting ability. Even about their outward appearance and clothing. According to Herodotus, the Scythians had come to the European steppes from the East. A long way rather… But wherefrom, he did not know, his knowledge of worldwide geography was clearly limited, and very much so. They certainly could only come from the Altai Mountains, a land the Greeks had never heard about, and nowhere else. Much time later, when scholars learned about the Altai and the Turkis, they developed an apprehension that the Scythians were actually Turkis who had migrated from the Altai, or more exactly, those of their tribes who had been forced to leave their native lands forever, for one reason or another. Their apprehensions were not devoid of reason, because the Scythians and Turkis belonged to the same culture. Looking for differences is like trying to find dissimilarities in twins - a waste of time. The Russian historian, Andrei Lyzlov, suggested some three hundred years ago that Scythians were directly related to Turkis. His sensational idea was rejected by the country's rulers, however, and the scholar had sovereign wrath turned against him. Czar Peter the Great, the sworn enemy of the Turkic people, who had overrun the Great Steppe and turned the free Turkic land into Russia's colony, hated the idea. After all these wrongdoings, he wanted to blot out the truth that the Turkis were native to Russia and Ukraine, both of which had been their homeland from the beginnings of history. And he now asserted that the Turkic people had not, nor ever had, a homeland or culture. The direct effect of his assertions was that Russian historians started referring to the Turkic people as "savage nomads" and "accursed Tatars". Scholars that were soon coming to Russia from the West in droves were paid huge sums to speak and write about Scythians as Slavs and Turkis, if things ever came to that, as barbarous nomads, no less. From that time on the truth was no longer heard about the Turkis and Scythians. It was replaced by a vicious lie that was being implanted costs regardless. No one believed it, though, so outrageous the fabrication was. What did Slavs have to do with all that? They never lived in steppes; rather, they were forest dwellers. To save face, another lie was cooked up - the Scythians, you know, came from Persia and, sure enough, they spoke Persian. To much regret, this fantasy has taken root and is very much alive in Russian historical science today. What is more, the ignoramuses remain unconvinced by written evidence found in Scythian mounds scribbled in Turkic runes. Nothing can make them change their mind. Indeed, everyone sees whatever he wants to see. The truth does not become a lie even if it is banned. It continues to beckon honest researchers. Fortunately, Professor Rudenko was one of them. He did not defy the ban, though - doing so could certainly bring disaster on his head. Rather, he provided an accurate account of the Turkis and their culture in his books. This is the main merit of his writings which are to be read between the lines (th e practice followed by both writers and readers in times of artistic freedom suppression). Professor Rudenko found that the Scythians had lived in the Altai, whence they migrated to Europe; that they were a Turkic people, speaking and writing in a Turkic language. According

to Herodotus, they called themselves Scoltes. Iranians and Indians knew them as Sak (Shak), a name derived from the ancient Turkic word sakla, which translates as "save". Appropriately, the Scythians abandoned the Altai, leaving it in full dignity, with the faith of their ancestors in their hearts. Science is yet to explain what forced the Scythians to forsake their homeland. For now, little is known about the background of their migration. Most probably, too much blood had been spilled in the Altai at that time, two and half thousand years ago, as high-pitched quarrels grew into warfare. Some tribes were upholding, arms in hand, the supremacy of the old gods (Yer-Su, Ulghen and Erlik), while others were asserting the power of their new God of Heaven, the Almighty Tengri. For the first time in human history, the world was witness to a struggle between polytheistic paganism and a new, monotheistic religion. It was a war of faiths. The old believers, the Scyths (Scythians) (or Scoltes or Sacae) backed down and withdrew from the battlefield. Certainly, they were not a new tribal confederation, one that turned up suddenly and vanished just as unexpectedly without a trace, like a meteorite in a blaze of fire. No, they were part of a race that had been and will be. A Gift from Tengri Why did a religious argument arise in the Altai, of all places? Was it sparked off by the emotions boiling in the Turkic nation's soul, an unfathomable receptacle of dreams and mysteries generating a rich spiritual culture? The ancient Turkis believed that patron spirits of their tribes held power over whether people lived in riches or in poverty. All tribes called their patron spirits the Lord, but different tribes each had its own Lord - a swan, wolf, bear, fish, deer, and so on, whose protection they sought. And all together, the Turkis worshiped the Serpent or Dragon. (In ancient Turkic, the serpent was maga or yilan, the dragon was lu, and the lizard was got, which was probably modified to Goths as the Turkis were henceforth known in Europe.) A tribe's Lord was depicted on its banner, which was believed to be the repository of the patron spirit, so banners deserved a special treatment. Incidentally, the ancient Altaians did not distinguish between the words banner and spirit - both had the same meaning and were pronounced identically. Initially, the ancient Turkis made their banners out of animal hides, which were then replaced with common or silk fabric. Allowing a banner to fall was considered bad luck, and tilting it was utter disgrace. The Serpent was revered by all tribes by more than mere chance. It was held that it was the forefather of humans and made people wise and knowledgeable. This fable has survived from that distant past. Today too, the Serpent (or Dragon) is deeply venerated in Central Asia, where feasts are put on in its honour and its images can be seen in every conceivable place. Interestingly, legends of the Turkis' neighbours frequently refer to them as nagas, or serpent people. According to folk tradition, the Serpent was master of the underworld. This explains why the deities under its control (Yer-Su, Erlik and so on) lived underground, and people adulated them as rulers of the netherworld. Tengri, the new God, came from quite another world, the Heaven. He brought a different religion to people. And a different life, too. A life in the Iron Age. He was the God of Heaven and Lord of the World for the Turkis, and more exactly for those of them who had lost faith in the old gods. The new God was not to everybody's liking, however. Its opponents conceded defeat and retreated from the Altai, loyal to their old faith and their underworld rulers. Their departure

from the Altai in the 5th century BC laid the beginnings of the history of the Scythians, the tribe called Scyths, or Sacae, in the classical sources (or Scoltes). So they departed, clearing the ground for momentous changes to start in the Altai inevitably under the impact of iron tools and implements. Professor Sergei Rudenko focused his research specifically on this period. He dug out a large cluster of mounds at Pazyryk in modern Kazakhstan, retrieving an enormous cache of fabulous treasures. I am not referring to the price of the gold and silver artifacts he found. His finds were much more valuable for they provided an insight into the life of the Turkis once they started using the advantages of iron. Indeed, he unearthed the evidence of the Altaians' art and skills he had been looking for. This was Professor Rudenko's great contribution to Turkic studies. A true and honest scientist, he contributed archaeological discoveries to the treasure-trove of science, in contrast to empty theories concocted on sovereign orders. Without a doubt, his most precious find was a horse bridle that he recovered from a mound hoard, its leather and iron mouth bit completely intact. And also iron crosses that Turkis used for ornaments. What's so interesting about a bridle today? Few people know, however, that the bridle was first made in the Altai and that it introduced a new culture we call Turkic Culture. It appears to be simple enough, next to modern widgets. Back then, though, it made a Turki warrior what he was to his contemporaries - an invincible horseman who could handle his warhorse the way no one else could and ride it across much of the world in triumph. The horse moved apart the boundaries of the Ancient Altai and opened up broad vistas for travel and conquest; and it provided a new type of transport and draft force that drove the Turkis forward on the road of progress. The Altaians had an instinct and real knack for inventions destined to become staples for all races and peoples. Back to those mounds. Archaeologists uncovered swords, scimitars and daggers from them, and also stirrups and shirts of mail, helmets and armour plates, and much more. Doesn't sound grand? It must. The Turkis' weapons were without match anywhere else in the antique world. Remember, they gave a severe beating to the Chinese emperor's crack armies? Their awesome strength made Chinese chroniclers look for an explanation, which they promptly found - the tuchueh (strong), that simple. And more. Back in the 4th century BC, the Chinese adopted elements of the Turkis' war gear, trousers, in particular, which they swapped for long flowing coats. Shortly they learned horse riding, too. The Altaians now knew that Tengri gave them unchallenged strength and skills, such as ploughing their crop fields, a job no other people could do so well. The earliest forged iron ploughshares (forerunners of modern ploughs) on Earth were found in the Ancient Altai. The Altaians reaped their crops with iron sickles and threshed their sheaves with iron flail bars. They cultivated rye and millet and stored the harvested grain in pottery jars. For larger crop harvests, they built granaries and drying barns, and made sacks and flour bins. They had ovens to make round loaves of bread they called karavais (made by karavaichis, or full-time bakers). The breads were round, to look like small brown suns - yeasted tasty wonders with a crunchy crust. Hunger had become a thing of the past for the Altaians. The age of plenty entered the ancient Turkis' homes as well. Their smoke huts gave way to log cabins (isi binas, a warm place, a word adopted and modified by Russians to izba), really a warm and cozy place, with a high-standing brick oven inside. Strangely, we call it the Russian oven today. Memories are short, of course. Incidentally, Russians borrowed the Turkic word kirpech (oven clay) for brick, which was the Turkis' main building material. The Turkis were unsurpassed in building their houses from bricks and logs. The ancient Turkis have preserved their identity of body build and complexion through the ages. You won't confuse it with anyone else's. To begin with, they looked differently from other peoples because of their national garments. Their diet abounded in meat and sour milk

products, and their sumptuous brown bread made their meals luxurious. Other peoples baked their loaves differently. Clothing and national cuisine are distinctive traits for an ethnographer. Little surprise, a horse-riding race would certainly wear different garments and eat different foods from those of, say, a tribe of fishermen. Everyone, young children to old adults, could ride a horse in the Altai. Walking was a disgrace. An infant was first taught to sit on a horse and then to walk. A Turki, in fact, grew up and died next to his horse. The two were inseparable centaur-like. And were even buried together. Now we know why the horse-riding Turkis needed those loose-fitting trousers and highheeled boots more than any other nations. Also, they were the first to discover the advantages of saddles with stirrups, steel scimitars, daggers, spears and super-power bows, objects other peoples had no need for. Even if they had, they lacked the Turkis' knack with those weapons. Among the inventions the hardworking Turkis contributed to world civilization were iron sickles and axes, forged iron ploughshares, magnificent palaces and attic houses, wagons and carriages, and many more useful things. Some of them are illustrated on these pages. "Good and evil, poverty and wealth all come from Tengri," the ancient Altaians said to comfort themselves. And right they were. The God of Heaven Who was then that Great Tengri, the heart of Turkic culture? Tengri was an invisible spirit inhabiting the Heaven, as vast as the Heaven itself and as wide as the whole world. The Turkis reverently called Him the Eternal Blue Sky or Tengri Khan, the latter name emphasising His supremacy in the Universe. He was the Only God, the Creator of the world and all forms of life on Earth, the Lord. So much was said in ancient legends, which are still remembered in our time. To understand the wisdom and depth of faith in Tengri, people were to embrace one simple truth - God is one and He sees everything. You cannot conceal anything from Him. He is the Lord and Judge. The Turkic people developed a habit of looking forward to Judgement Day. Not in helpless fear, though, for people were sure that supreme justice existed in the world. It was the Judgement of God, to be passed on everybody, king or slave. God is protection and punishment, all in one. This was what the Turkis' faith in the Only God was based on. Religion was the supreme achievement of the Turkic people's spiritual culture. The Turkis threw out their pagan gods and turned to Tengri - each in one's own tongue, Bogh (Bogdo or Boje), Hodai (or Kodai), Allah (or Ollo) or Gospodi (or Gozbodi). These words resounded in the Altai Mountains as long as two and a half thousand years ago. And, of course, many other words were addressed to Tengri as well. Bogh was the most frequent word on people's lips, though. It invoked peace, calm and perfection. The Turkis now went into battle with Bogh in their hearts and minds. And took up every challenge with Bogh at their side. Another form of address to God, Hodai (literally, Be Happy), emphasised the unique qualities of Tengri - the Almighty in this world, its Creator. All-powerful and Benevolent. Allah (or Ala) was the least frequent word used by ancient Turkis. It only came to their minds in moments of desperation when they wanted to ask the Great Tengri Khan for something very important in their lives. The word derived from the Turkic al (hand), suggesting "giving and taking". In its original sense, Allah could only be uttered while saying

a prayer with hands held out in front of you and palms up to face the Great Blue Sky. Gospodi was the rarest of all - it could only be spoken by priests. Literally, the word means "seeing the light" or "eye opener". It was an address one could say in a moment of truth, and it was full of philosophical wisdom. A truly righteous man could ask for guidance in penetrating the inner sense of things. The rules to be followed in prayer, celebration or fasting were polished over the centuries, to develop into a code of behaviour or rites, performed by priests. Turkic priests could be told from laymen by the way they dressed and behaved. Their clothing consisted of long robes (caftans or mantles) and peaked hoods, which were white for senior clergy and black for the rest of the priesthood. You can guess all right that ancient artists cut images of priests on Altai rocks. So we now know what those "white wanderers" (a popular phrase for them) were - preachers of the faith. The Turkis chose a simple equal-armed cross, aji, for a symbol of Tengri Khan. The cross was not new to Turkic culture, though - it had been an important element in Turkis' lives, along with a "skew" cross that was a sign of the underworld and old, underground gods. As can be expected, aji crosses were very crude and simple, gradually evolving into real works of art crafted by jewellers, who used to give them a gold coat and adorn them with gems to please the eye and heart. Skew crosses appeared in the Altai between three and four thousand years ago. In actual fact, those were not crosses and were named so by Europeans when they first learned about Tengri religion. Semantically, the cross is an intersection of two lines. The Tengri sign shows no intersection, and is, in fact, a solar circle with four equally spaced rays radiating from it. Get the difference? Sun rays, otherwise interpreted as grace of God emanating from a single centre. They are a Heavenly sign that marks off Turkic culture, the culture of a people that had profound faith in the power of the Eternal Blue Sky. Occasionally, a crescent was added to the Tengri sign (or cross, if you like), to convey a different message - a reminder of time and perpetuity. The Sun and Moon were closely related to ancient Turkis (hence their twelve-year calendar). The Tengri sign was embroidered on battle banners and worn on a chain on the chest. It was tattooed on foreheads and woven into designs and ornaments by artists. It was all in the spirit of strong national tradition. The Turkis in India Tidings of Almighty God of Heaven and his affluent country flew from Altai mountaintops like a flock of birds to every corner of the world. Metaphor aside, the new religion was disseminated by Turkis themselves, by word and deed. Their White Wanderers made their way to other countries to spread the word of Tengri. China sent back Turkic preachers from its borders. With a vengeance, literally. It was shortly overrun by Turkic horsemen who put China to its knees by force, the defensive Great Wall regardless. Eventually, however, people in the country that styled itself the Celestial Empire learned about Tengri. The Chinese probably had their own ideas about the cult of the Heaven and tried to uphold them. It was all different in India, however. Interest in Tengri caught on immediately, and an Indian page opened in Turkic history two thousand and a half years ago, or even slightly earlier. The Altai and India now shared a common spirituality. They certainly had solid backgrounds for that communion, faith in the first place. (In truth, the Hindus interpreted their

Buddha in a way different from what Turkis made out their Tengri, and still they felt free to search for an eternal truth and have spiritual dialogues with one another.) Indian legends of nagas are a reminder of that distant past. In Hindu mythology, nagas were semidivine beings, half human and half serpentine, who had the Serpent as their forbear. They lived in a country far north of India, in a land where incalculable treasures and an iron cross lay buried in the ground. That distant land was known to Hindus as Shambhu (Benevolent), or Shambhkala (Shining Fortress in Turkic). According to legend, nagas had human faces and long snake bodies. They could assume either human or wholly serpentine form. They were very gentle and musical creatures who loved poetry, and their women were of striking beauty. An ancient Hindu holy book, Mahabharata, tells of the origins of religion and the evolution of spiritual culture. The book is really a chronicle of Ancient India, with some of its pages devoted to the nagas and their mysterious northern land. No, this is not a fairytale. It is an account of real events which is told, in a long-standing Indian tradition, in legend form. (Indian scholars approach their legends in all earnest, calling them absolutely reliable sources.) The Hindus, for example, made no secret of the fact that they had borrowed their sacred texts, Prajnyaparamita, from the nagas, or Turkis. This body of wisdom could only be read by the wisest of proselytizers, who alone were capable of absorbing the message of text. In this way, the Hindus did a great honour to Turkic culture - they have preserved for the Turkic race a sacred treasure that the Turkis have managed to forget. The land of Shambhkala lay at the foot of Mount Sambyl-Taskhyl, in the catchment area of the Khan Tengri River. There, a wall of icy mist concealed cities, monasteries and blossoming forests. Legends abounded about that enigmatic land. It was rumoured that monastics in possession of consummate knowledge lived in that land. Many people failed in their attempts to reach that land. No one came anywhere near it. It was commonly held that it was hidden in an inaccessible valley somewhere in Tibet, where earthly life touches the ultimate heavenly reason. This view was voiced by some major Orientalists in the 19th century, and was strongly endorsed by, among other leading public figures, Nikolai Przhevalsky, the famous Russian traveller and ethnographer, Nikolai Roerich, a philosopher, and Elena Blavatskaya, an educationist. For all their high stature, we cannot share their view. It's human to err, especially if you look for something in a wrong place. Theirs was certainly this case. Actually, scientists knew almost nothing about the Altai and its ancient culture, while many of them were not even aware of much there was to know in the 19th century. By suppressing and distorting the Turkic nation's history, the Russian authorities drove Russian historical science into a corner, where recognized celebrities, let alone commoners, could be misguided. No one was aware at the time that belief in the God of Heaven had been brought to Tibet and India from the Altai, of all places, and struck deep root there. Modern Tibetan Buddhism (or less formal, Lamaism), the core religion of Tibet, Mongolia and Buriatia, a republic in Russia, originated among the Turkis. The name of Tengri was certainly known in India. How else could you explain the Buddha's blue Turkic-slit eyes? Was it a reflection of a long-forgotten epic? Such as one that unfolded two and half thousand years ago when strange horsemen rode into India from the North? They settled in India, to become a new nation, the Shak. In fact, they were Sacae of the Turkic race. And more, Hindus called Buddha (his teaching was disseminated at exactly that time) Shakyamuni or the Turkic god. It is highly probable, we assume, that Buddha's teaching could be spread by the Turkis. This is abundant evidence, you will agree. Besides, Buddha, Indian tradition goes, could turn into a naga. Finally, at least fifty million of India's inhabitants

profess faith in the God of Heaven. They are neither Buddhists nor Moslems. They are called Christians in India, but they are not like any other Christians around the world - they have distinct religious rites and symbols. They will accept no other sign but the Tengri cross, which they wear on their chests and say their distinct prayers in front of it. This is probably the only place in the world where the Turkis' creed survives in its undistilled form. Indeed, nothing goes without leaving a trace. Traces of past events may at times surface suddenly in the least expected place. Here is a good example. According to Indian legends, none other than Turkis taught Hindus how to plough their fields with iron ploughshares and reap their harvests with iron sickles. Hindus always praised the nagas for their fertile lands and copious crops. The old ploughs unearthed in the Altai and Indian and Pakistani legends appear to bring together the fragmented knowledge about ancient Turkis and fit in place many missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle left by history. While we are on the subject of borrowings, the famous Indian cavalry, too, traces its beginnings from the coming of the Altaians. It will not be out of place here to emphasise again that Turkic influence on Indian culture was enormous at that time. Convincing evidence of this has been unearthed by archaeologists. More proof is, of course, available elsewhere. Altaic tribes came to India to stay forever there rather than just hit and run. About one in ten Indians or Pakistanis today has a family tree rooted in Turkic soil. A significant proportion, you will agree. India was ruled for a long time by the famous Sun Dynasty, one of its two major ruling families founded by King Ikshwaku, a nephew of the Sun, who migrated from the Altai, where he lived in the Aksu River Valley, to India in the 5th century BC. Once installed in power, Ikshwaku started building a city, Ayodhya, to be the capital city of the Koshala (or Koshkala?) Kingdom. The city, which still stands today, has a museum dedicated to the Sun Dynasty, with enough evidence about the Turkis who had arrived from the Altai. Ayodhya alternated between prominence and decline, and at one time it was regarded as the capital city of Northern India, an indication of the great influence Koshala had on that region. Eventually, the city fell into decay and neglect, only to experience an upsurge again. With the arrival of Turkis, life was no longer calm or smooth in India. Ayodhya stood on the banks of the Sarayu (modern Ghaghara) River. It looks like another Turkic place name, with an undisguised connotation of palace. Why not? The city was the capital city of a powerful kingdom, with splendid palaces, temples and beautiful residential houses. The river takes its name from the royal palace. In fact, the map of India shows a lot of Turkic place names. Take Hindustan, the vast region in Northern India. The name sends a Turkic message, with its typically Turkic stan ending (Tatarstan, Kazakhstan, Bashkortostan or Daghestan), which means "country" in Turkic. Nothing stands alone in life. Nothing comes from nowhere and goes without a trace. During the rule of Sun Dynasty kings, numberless families resettled from the Altai to India. Migration continued for many centuries. You could see Altaic families among the Indian nobility, their members going on to become great generals, poets, scholars or clerics. But all of them spoke Turkic. The destinies are now part of Indian legends and in genealogies of some Indian aristocrats. To give an example, the celebrated dynasties of maharajas of Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur rose from their Turkic roots in the Ancient Altai. Little surprise, though, for India and the Altai were, in all but in fact, a huge single country, both parts of which were linked by roads that can still be used today - the Biisk and Nerchinsk routes. The earliest road the Turkis built to reach India was the legendary Suspension Pass, a mysterious road no one knows of today. No parts of it have survived, save for folklore and suspension bridges, its replicas that continue to be built in the Pamir Mountains and Tibet to

this day. Turkic cavalry used suspension bridges to cross mountain streams and deep gorges on its way to India. It took a very brave man to ride a horse over soaring cloud-high cliffs. Pilgrims, too, followed this road to see their relations or pray at sacred Mount Kailasa, or visit the city of Kashmir. It was a cherished dream come true for a Turki to see Mount Kailasa, as also India itself. It was broadly held that a man who happened to see Mount Kailasa would be happy for the rest of his life. According to legend, it was a place where Tengri Khan himself rested from his chores, from time to time. A sacred place indeed. The Turkis in Iran India was not alone to be introduced to the God of Heaven. "White Wanderers" walked as far as Iran. The surviving tales of Azhi Dahaka shed some light on that controversial event. Azhi Dahaka (Dahaka the Snake) was a foreign king who ruled Iran for a time. He lived in the image of a serpent, struggling to assert faith in the God of Heaven. Ordinary Iranians rejected his faith - you cannot force anything down anyone's throat if he cannot swallow it. After that regretful failure, Iranians continued to worship fire for centuries more. Iranian nobles were that country's sole class that embraced Tengri in secret and proudly related, generation to generation, their memories of ancestors privileged to serve at the court of Azhi Dahaka. Or else they confided to their descendants about their ancestral Turkic roots. Azhi Dahaka was, in fact, Arshak I, a redhead imposter from the Altai, who founded the famous Arsacid dynasty in the 3rd century BC. This fact is recorded in Iran's history books. Surprisingly, many cities and villages, in fact, large regions in Iran continue to speak Turkic in our days. Very long ago, Iran occupied an enormous area, many times as large as it is today. Little wonder, therefore, that many of its ethnic groups and their legends live on within that country's modern boundaries. The Iranian page in Turkic history opened with the invasion of the Sacae (Shak), who were on their way to India. Then came Tashkent (or Tashqand), a very old city that marked its two thousand years recently. The city has an eventful history, many sides of which, as of Turkic history in general, are cloaked in mystery. Tashqand is habitually translated as "stone city". This is not exactly so, because the Turkic word qand does mean a stone-built city already. It must be something different, for toponymy experts alone to explain. Professor Eduard Murzaev knew much about the Turkic knack of giving names to cities, rivers and mountains. The scholar attempted in his book to go to the origins of the name of Tashqand, but he had no time left to complete his task. It was found later that tashty or dashty was "abroad" in Turkic and that it came from Sanskrit, the language of Indian priests (more about that later). "Abroad" gave the name "Tashqand" an entirely different undertone. In plane language it translates as "a stone city in a foreign land". The message was that it was not a town of log cabins, a predominant type of settlement in the Altai, but exactly a city of stone buildings. Why exactly "abroad"? We have an answer, by way of explanation. A large and prosperous state, Bactria, a part of the Persian Empire, used to lie in the very centre of Asia. Its fame spread in all directions, including Europe, and it is actually to blame for Alexander the Great's Macedonian armies being lured by its wealth. Bactria died off instantly politically, and long years of warfare that followed on its territory finished it off economically as well as politically. In fact, the weakened Bactrian state was embroiled in long wars, trying to fend off the "savage nomads" (a staple name used for Turkis by modern historians) descending on the

prostrate country from the north. Yes, they were the notorious Sacae, and they knew what they wanted when they invaded Bactria. Their business done, a part of the their army turned around to push, across the Suspension Pass in the unassailable Pamir Mountains, towards India. Three hundred years after these devastating campaigns, in the 1st century AD, new forces burst out of the Altai to rewrite history again. They had a cross on their banners and a new faith in their hearts. Their westward drive opened another Iranian page in Turkic history. Azhi Dahaka's (or rather his proselytizers') failure did not stop the Turkis in their resolve they sent their cavalry to make up for the failure in their earlier Iranian inroad. This time, the Turkic armies matched up to their long-standing reputation. Fighting for succession to the lifeless Bactria was brief and decisive. The wars cleared the stage for a new state, the Kushan Khanate, which is today hidden behind a thick fog of ignorance. Kushan history is linked to whatever people comes to mind Greeks, Persians and whoever happened to be near, but the Turkis. Tashqand was actually the first Turkic city in the area. It was built close to ancient Bactrian cities, including Maracanda, near an iron ore deposit that drew the Turkis here, above all. The Turkis renamed the ancient Bactrian city Samarqand (probably, derived from Sumerqand), and called the nearby iron-rich area the Iron Gate - no one took any interest in iron but the Turkis. The Kushan Khanate wielded awesome military power. It controlled modern Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of India and Iran, and even parts of China. Very little truth is so far known about the legendary Kushan Khanate, even the true names of its rulers, which all appeared to be concealed deliberately. We know their Hindu, Iranian or Chinese surrogates, but never their Turkic originals. The founder of the Kushan Khanate, for example, is known as Guwishka. His name, Gowerka, was stamped on his coins. Who knows what it was in Turkic? Hardly anyone. Many objects dating to that period have been unearthed. Some of them bear inscriptions in clear Turkic runes. They confirm the hypothesis that Turkis started settling in this foreign land before the onset of the new era (AD). Turkic runes and the "stone city in a foreign land", Tashqand, were signs of their presence - iron artifacts and runes are dated to the same period. French archaeologists digging at Dasht Navur (Dasht again?) uncovered remains of another Turkic city, and a cliff with similar runes nearby, on the territory of modern Afghanistan. Another Turkic city stood at Kara Tepe, a short distance from Tashqand. The cache of artifacts uncovered there contained earthenware with ubiquitous inscriptions, a message from longgone ancestors. Taking the cue from their respective governments, scientists close their eyes to this multiple evidence. We certainly can time events using a different set of signs. For example, Turkic populations, Uzbeks in particular, the direct descendants of settlers from the Altai. Their modern state, Uzbekistan, with Tashqand (Tashkent) as its capital city, is the pride of the Turkic world. The Uzbeks alone have earned this honour for their country. A thriving nation is the strongest evidence in the case we are arguing. The Uzbeks' brethren from that distant Kushan Period live in Afghanistan and Pakistan under the name of Pashtuns. They are quite a numerous species as well. They do not speak pure Turkic, of course - what could you expect of a people torn from their roots and intermingling with other races for centuries? Hardly recognizable on language criteria, they have not changed their Turkic looks or deviated from their Turkic life-styles. In fact, they have been wrested out of their historical context and nonetheless remain a significant part of the Turkic world with a past beginning in the Ancient Altai. You won't say that about the Turkmen, who are different. By all criteria, they are purebred Turanians [inhabitants of the Turan Plain], but prefer to call themselves a Turkic people. In

cultural roots they are much closer to Iran. The Turkic world certainly has resident aliens speaking the host nation's language. But then their behavioural patterns are nowhere near those of the true Turkis. The Kyrgyz, a people living in the Pamir Mountains, are a case apart. They certainly belong to the Turkic race. Even though they have borrowed a lot from Chinese culture, they remain Turkic at core with their unmistakable Turkic behavioural patterns. Cultural melting pots are amazing phenomena in human history. They have always been like that - boiling. Within its Kushan framework, Altaic culture borrowed the best it could take from the local Turan tribes, giving them all it could in return. The Kushan Khanate was, in scholarly opinion, a real melting pot where Oriental cultures were fused into a distinct local culture. The Turkis, Iranians and Hindus living side by side for centuries have learned a lot from one another. Would you expect otherwise? The Turkic settlers in Central Asia could not escape their fate that made them different from their Altaic kinsfolk. In fact, theirs was a new Turkic culture, and they were appropriately called Turkis-Oguz (oguz translates as "worldly wise"). The great Kushan melting pot gave the world some of its celebrated scholars, poets, theologians and physicians who added glory to the East, the Turkic world and the human race as a whole. The area's fertile land was destined to yield rich crops of star-calibre philosophers and wise men. Travellers to the Kushan Khanate were amazed at its flourishing cities, magnificent palaces with beautiful statues, and majestic temples. And, of course, their poets reciting their verses to the accompaniment of bird chirping in paradisiacal gardens. Living in harmony with one's neighbours produces changes hard to account for. It gradually changes much of what seems unshakable, even people's outward appearance. For example, the overwhelming majority of Turkis-Oguz are now brown-eyed and dark-haired. But they remain unchanged inside from their Altaic kinsfolk - hot-tempered and emotional. On top of anything else, they are a very practical lot. The Illustrious Khan Erke The world first learned about the mighty Kushan Khanate in the 1st century AD, when the famous King Kanishka elevated the Turkic race to glory. Happily, we know his real name Khan Erke (or Kanerka, which was stamped on his coins). More than anyone else before or after him, Khan Erke, a born philosopher and poet, a sagacious ruler and brilliant warlord, contributed to the high glory of Turkic culture. He made it unchallenged in the East. To their friends and foes alike, Turkis appeared to be endowed with unnatural talents and powers. Erke ascended to the Kushan throne in 78 AD and ruled for twenty-three years. Word, not sword, nor spear, nor iron shirt of mail, was his main weapon, and above all the word of God. To Him alone Erke and the Turkic world owe a debt of gratitude for their spectacular victories. Khan Erke's principal gift to the East was faith in Tengri. His mission was made the easier thanks to his thorough knowledge of the rites, prayers and the teaching itself. He could speak for hours, using fine words and polished style that kept his listeners alert and thirsting for more. The khan's nice speech and wise policies showed the indigenous population that the Turkic settlers valued kindness and generosity more than they did gold, perfidy or power over non-Turkic people. Their ruler was the true spokesman for his people. And the locals accepted him on faith, and his people as well. Khan Erke was convinced that every human being could, by controlling his own behaviour, build paradise or hell for himself and his near and dear. No one, he said, could blame anyone

but himself for his misery and woes. God gives everyone his deserves - no less no more. This is really the only just Judgement - you alone are accountable to God for your good and evil actions - under the Eternal Blue Sky. Only this matters, and nothing else. The message of the new religion was simple enough - do good wherever you can for the world to be kind to you. This truth being as simple as that, people embraced it without hesitation. Their new faith was simple and wise, unlike any other on Earth. The most attractive side of the new creed was that you have your future in your own hands. Remember this and don't miss your chance. Turkis, for example, believed in the eternity of human soul and in their reincarnation after death. Everyone knew that even a hardened sinner could atone for all of his sins. He was given a chance and hope to cleanse himself any time in his life on Earth. Faith in Tengri reinforced people's spirit and encouraged them to excel. "Seek salvation in your deeds," Khan Erke exhorted his subjects. Strangers were bewildered by the rite Turkis performed in the name of Tengri. It was a grand occasion, and very festive, too. They never said the name of the God of Heaven in haste. The rite was ceremonious and leisurely. No one in the pagan world had ever witnessed so much grandeur and splendour or imagined it could be that way. Pagans took the Turkis for what we now call extraterrestrials - people from a world completely unfamiliar to them. The Turkis had everything neat and tidy, so little wonder their Altai was paradise come true for other Oriental races and its inhabitants got the name of Aryans. Not unlike Shambhkala in India, this birthplace of the Turkic race bore this lofty epithet for over a thousand years, and the horse riders themselves were the stuff of endless legends. During the reign of Khan Erke, cities awoke to the melodious peels of bells summoning the congregation to morning prayer. We can only guess what it felt like in those thrilling moments. Actually, very little is known about them. What kind of bells were they? How did the bell towers look? No one can give the answers after so many centuries. We certainly know, though, that bells really existed (some evidence of them has been unearthed). The Turkic word for bell (kolokol) probably comes from that remote age - in ancient Turkic, it meant "facing the Heaven", or more specifically, "praying to the Heaven". And pray people did. Prayers were said outside a temple, under the open sky of Tengri. Like it was back in the Altai when people congregated for prayer at the feet of sacred mountains. Judging by their remains, temples were not large. In the beginning, they were built as reminders of those sacred mountains back home, eventually evolving into architectural features. No one could enter a temple, except for the clergy, who were qualified, and only for a few brief moments. They wouldn't hang back more than that anyway, for they were not allowed to breathe inside the sanctuary. Things were different with other peoples. Their congregations swarmed their temples. Later on, however, the Turkis adopted this practice, too. (To our regret again, very little is known as yet about the destinies of various cultural traditions or why some were superseded by others.) It was general custom to burn incense before prayer. Incense burners (censers) were used for this purpose. According to an ancient Altaic legend, evil forces could not abide by the smell of incense (the incense-burning ritual was called qadyt in ancient Turkic, from the root verb "repel" or "scare off"). The Turkis prayed to subdued singing. The choir fervently intoned a sacred melody, Yirmaz (literally, "our songs"), in praise of the God of Heaven. Whatever side of Turkic culture you take, you always see the equal-armed cross of Tengri, called vajra in the East. Khan Erke did not spare himself to propagate his faith. His reign is deeply impressed on the

memory of Oriental nations. It was a great reign indeed. Happily, we know fairly much, from the archaeologists' digs, about Tengri crosses and ruined Turkic cities and temples that existed in the Kushan period. We can only guess about the confusion that overwhelmed people who refused to accept Tengri. They were lost in doubt and depressed, tormented by their own powerlessness. After all, iron tools and weapons, an excellent army and general affluence in the country were strong indications of the high mission of Turkic culture, in a way completely different from divine services. For these reasons the Altai and, by implication, the Kushan Khanate were, therefore, regarded as the key spiritual centres in the East, a promised land sought out by people in other lands. (Incidentally, some later geographical maps label the Altai as Paradise - really.) People came here from afar to find out more about Turkic culture. A school of arts was opened in Gandhara for foreigners, along with several theological centres across the Kushan Khanate. At one time, a Jew by the name of Joshua studied in the Altai, following the example of Moses (Moshe or Mousa). An indirect reference to this is contained in the Koran. On his return to Palestine, then a province of the Roman Empire, Joshua brought news of horsemen in the service of the God of Heaven. His words are recorded in the Apocalypse, the Christians' earliest religious book. For this he was called Jesus Christ (Isa), or "God Blessed", that is, a "Divine Witness". Priests from India and Tibet were frequent guests at the Kushan khan's court. Appropriately enough, for Khan Erke transformed Kashmir into a holy city and a centre of pilgrimage. Altaic pilgrims, too, had a temple in Kashmir to worship their own god, and Turkic was heard there day and night, all year round. Could it probably be the Golden Temple that is still a major attraction in Kashmir? Khan Erke devoted much of his time and effort to the promotion of his creed and culture, benefiting enormously the Turkic world as a whole. Buddhists held their Fourth Assembly in Kashmir, which drew many theologians from around the East. They gave recognition to Tengri and His teaching that expanded the content of Buddhism (which evolved into the wellknown version of Buddhism, Mahayana). The text of Mahayana was engraved on copper plates that immediately became (and still are) a sacred dogma of Buddhism in China, Tibet and Mongolia, among other places. These plates, or more correctly the Fourth Assembly, signalled the birth of a new school of Buddhism, which was later named "Tibet Buddhism" or "Lamaism". The East's greatest enlightener, the sagacious Khan Erke knew how to make friends and allies. He has been consecrated as a saint by the Buddhists, and his name is cited in a prayer. The Turkis are, however, fully oblivious of their illustrious khan. Fortunately, some other peoples have fond memories of him. Bound for the Steppe The rise of the Kushan Khanate in the 2nd century AD appeared to have awakened the Altai or rather shaken it out of its slumber. A little background will help explain what actually happened. The Altai has a more rigorous climate than Central Asia. Crops were, therefore, significantly lower. As everywhere, mountains are not the best place for crop farming and good living. The Altaic khans were looking to the steppe beyond with hope and misgiving. The steppe offered plenty of fertile land, but few people could physically live on it. In actual fact, the mountains dwellers had always dreaded the steppe. It was devoid of trees, which meant no fuel for the hearth or logs for houses and barns. Rivers were scarce there, so there was no water for cattle or vegetable gardens, or just for drinking, at times. "The steppe is

a land of gloom," gossiped old folk. They were certainly right. The steppe is clean-stripped of prominent feature to take your bearings on - only flat land all around under the blazing sun in the sky. There is no telling where you are or where you go. Winds, quite often of hurricane force, tend to blow for weeks on end. A snowstorm could snow over your village right up to housetops within a few hours in winter. Primitive tribes, undemanding though they were, never settled in the inhospitable steppe. Evading the steppe, they settled in the mountains, on seashores and in forests, but never in the steppe. You can hardly survive in the steppe unless you are adequately prepared for life in the wilderness. For example, your shoes will be in tatters from coarse grass after a long walk in the steppe. Nor can you walk barefoot, of course, for any long time. The Turkis had nowhere to go but across the steppe, towards a better future with lush grazing grounds and rich croplands. Finally, towards the vast expanses far beyond. The Turkis were torn between two options - going or staying. Between hope and fear. Finally, hope won over fear. First, a few families took off and moved on into the unknown. And they had the old label immediately attached to them - kypchak (Kipchaks). Settlers had always been called kypchaks there since the time when Turkis first started out for India. Kipchak was more than a settler. Its more accurate translation gives "crowded". Another source of the label is the name of a very old Turkic tribe. It probably, a long time before, led the way from the Altai, and everyone who followed it were given its name, now as a trademark to be worn by all settlers. One way or another, it takes a strong and self-assured tribe to pull up stakes and face the steppe rigours. It was a brave decision to be exposed to the forces reigning in the steppe. No one pressured the Turkis - they up and went on their own free will. They certainly had on their side the necessary wherewithal - iron tools and weapons unrivalled in the world and a rich experience of life in India, Central Asia and, of course, the Urals and Ancient Altai. I don't remember if any historian has written anything about that. What happened next was that cities and villages were put up in the steppe, roads were laid, bridges thrown across rivers, and irrigation canals dug. All this was done so rapidly that no one had time to regret. A strong race they really were. Now forgotten by all but a few curious archaeologists. Their flourishing land gradually evolved into a new Turkic khanate, which came to be known later as the Land of Seven Rivers. Its cities amid the steppe were like bright stars in the dark sky. Not that they had striking architecture or dazzling splendour. They had a different purpose to be there. In our day these cities have been explored by Alkei Margulan, a Kazakh archaeologist and member of the Academy of Sciences. As chance would have it, he spotted them from an airliner window. He could discern from high altitude ruined buildings overgrown with grass and sanded over. Shortly he drove into the steppe to see the deserted cities firsthand. He did what he humanly could, and shared his findings in a book. Alkei Margulan's research and book notwithstanding, much remains obscure - the subject is too vast for one man to cope with it single-handed. But really, it deserves to be studied in more detail, its complexity notwithstanding. Its importance is too large to be overestimated imagine people beginning to develop the steppe, a terrain man had never ventured into. (Leaving aside a few small settlements, it was the peopling of an uninhabited part of our planet.) Scientists are yet to answer many questions. Like this one: How did the Kipchaks move across the steppe? A simple question, it is hard to answer - you won't go far or carry much in the steppe, so there must be a way to make things easier. Which one exactly?

Didn't I say the Turkis had plenty of horses? A horse will not carry much in addition to its rider, however. How then will it carry provisions or materials you will need to build and keep a house? Embarking on a long one-way journey, you will have much to take along. At the time we are on, Arabs transported their heavy loads on camels, Hindus had their powerful elephants, Chinese relied on buffalos, Iranians depended on donkeys. The Turkis had their dear horses, so they had to make most of what they had. Now you know who it was that thought up the wagon and carriage. The Turkis, of course, because necessity is the mother of invention. Wheeled transport, too, was introduced by the Turkis, just as bricks, log cabins and felt were. We do not know the name of the inventor, if there was one, but the wagon is still very much here with us. A lighter vehicle, carriage, came later. It was a great improvement on the wagon or dray. And a speedy improvement, too - you could have two or three horses hitched to it to race you across the steppe. Next were a hansom and brougham. With enough horses to go around, troikas (a Russian word, of course) dashed up and down the steppe leaving a thick trail of dust in the wake. With a carriage to take you wherever you want, you need good roads and staging posts to have a rest and change horses. And coaches, too, to carry parcels, mail and, predictably, passengers. Coaches could deliver mail at an amazing speed of two or even three hundred kilometres a day. It is much, too much for that time. Compare that number with the twenty to thirty kilometres people could make a day. The Turkis were then the speediest race on Earth. The steppe in the Land of Seven Rivers holds the honour of being the birthplace of coach service. The Great Migration of the Peoples The Turkic people's settlement in the steppe was a significant event in human history. The discovery and settlement of Europeans in America was probably next in importance to civilisation. The first, Great migration was certainly on a bigger scale with more far-reaching consequences - indeed, a change of habitat. It began in the Altai in the 2nd century AD, moving towards and across Europe, where it ended on the western fringes of the continent three hundred years later. The Turkis, of course, were not new to mass-scale relocations, such as exodus to India, Iran and Central Asia. In sheer numbers and impact, they pale next to that GREAT migration. And so does the exodus of Scythian tribes to the steppe - it was too shallow and inconsequential. Three hundred years is a good deal of time. A few generations were to grow up on each new tract of land won from nature before next ones were strong and populous enough to move on. The Kipchaks made only an unhurried and cautious advance, but they knew what they wanted. They had it the hard way, so it was natural for a spate of important inventions to be made during this period to help cope with hardship and inspire confidence in their slow trek across barren steppes. They added a closed cover to their open wagons, turning them into comfortable moving homes, kibitkas. For more convenience, they lined the kibitkas with felt inside, so they now had warm small huts to weather the cold winters. A group of kibitkas were always arranged in a circle at nightfall, a little town fortress bristling with defences against a surprise attack. The Turkis made felt into a building material, which kept homes warm in winter and cool in summer. None but Turkis could process wool so fine, so simply and so fast. Felt does not soak up water. In rainy weather water trickles down the tiny hairs in droplets

falling to the ground. This property of felt cloth led to the appearance of felt cloaks for the horsemen and their horses, if you will. Felting was made into beautiful rugs (arbabashes) for use inside wagons and for making warm boots. Sheep wool could be processed into fine cloth fit for making clothing and hats. Fine felt hat-making is still a widespread industry in our days. Felt is, without a doubt, a trademark of the Turkic people. Let's look inside a felt-top kibitka. There was a felt arbabash on the floor, surmounted by a sumavar to boil water or cook meals, should the family be on the road. Sumavar is the simplest and most practicable thing man has ever thought up. Now it is called a Russian samovar. Actually, however, it is of pure Turkic stock, as also the troika (no Turkic equivalent for the word is known), since the times of the Great Migration of the Peoples. The steppe gave the Turkic nation many benefits and taught it lots of useful things. It is not that the old was thrown away to give way to the new. The ancient Altaic traditions survived, and the mountains lived on in people's hearts and dreams. New generations came and went far from the mountains, of which they knew by hearsay only. Strangely, though, they adored the mountains just as their distant ancestors did. It was perhaps this nostalgia that led the more recent Turkic generations to build kurgans (or mounds), tiny replicas of those majestic ranges, to be always a reminder of their Altaic roots. So now, whenever we see a mound we take it for a sign of Turkic presence, at one time or another. They built mounds where khans or famous generals were buried. The place was sacred. Nearby the Kipchaks honoured the dead and prayed to Tenrgri. The ancestors' traditions were strictly observed. In the steppes the Kipchaks seemed to be doing the same, but not quite the same. Archaeologists digging up one mound after another made a striking discovery. Those steppe hillocks were not piled up haphazardly, but were built according to a plan. As a result, each mound was a feat of ancient engineering that can tell a lot about the ancients' technical skills. For some time after moving into the steppe, the settlers continued to bury their dead as their forefathers had done back in the Altai. Gradually, they developed a new approach fit for the steppe. Ancient Altaic tribes did not inter their dead in the ground - digging a grave in rocky ground or permafrost was a hard, if not impossible, job. Accordingly, mountain dwellers followed a different burial rite. A dead body wrapped in white cloth was taken to a sacred site, on a high flat rock. Then, a heap of dry firewood smeared with animal fat was lighted up nearby. The rising column of smoke attracted vultures from around the place for that celebration of the dead. Soon, nothing was left on the send-off rock but a few reddish black spots and bones. There must be a profound philosophical sense in this burial ritual. The Turkis sincerely believed that death was the beginning of new life. The soul being immortal, they held, it flitted into another human being or animal. The dead body, they reasoned, was a sacrifice for the sake of new life. On certain occasions, ancient Altaians actually interred their dead in the ground, typically on top of a mountain. A hollow hole was then dug in the ground and a log frame was halfburied inside, a kind of "house" for the dead. Archaeologists have a name for these tombs burial frame (or mortuary house). Burial frames were forerunners of coffins, which are used extensively today by almost all European cultures. That was the way it was in the Altai. The steppe was different in nature, however. The dead could only be buried in the ground. Mortuary houses were built for the nobility, and mounds were piled up over them and capped with monuments similar to the ancient send-off stones

for vultures to feast on. A rough log room containing a dead body was enclosed within a mound, and food provisions, weapons, tools, daily necessities, a slaughtered horse and killed slaves were placed next to the corpse. An underground passage led into the burial room from beyond the mound for priests to come to perform services. Actually, underground passages were only made under mounds built over the graves of dignitaries or saints, as we call them now. With mounds all around, Turkic lands looked now completely different. The mounds marked their borders for neighbours to think twice before crossing into mound-dotted terrain. Boundary markers was not the only role mounds played. According to archaeologists, mounds served as reference points a wanderer could see from a far distance. To give them that role, the Kipchaks built them along roads, like huge milestones. The tradition caught on quickly, and from that time on steppe cemeteries were sites along "milestoned" high roads. Quite unexpectedly, mounds acquired a new function by the 3rd century, when the mound became an open-air temple, in the way sacred mountains had been centuries before. A platform, haram ("forbidden"), was levelled in front of the mound entrance, where you could only pray, but were not allowed to talk. A tent-like brick structure was put up on the top of a mound as a token of the ancient mountaintop boulder monument. Prayer ground and brick monument on mound top…. Was it all because the Kipchaks wanted their mounds to remind them of the sacred Mount Kailasa? Or was there another, more practical reason? If our guess is right, we clearly see why churches appeared in the steppes by the 4th century. Those were none other than churches, or kilisas (from Mount Kailasa), where the Kipchaks kept the remains of their saints and near, not inside, which they prayed. The tent style that followed the outlines of the sacred mountain has entrenched in church architecture since the early kilisas. It added yet another distinctive touch to Turkic spiritual culture. From that time on the Kipchaks were building their churches on high ground - on top of mounds or over the graves of their dead celebrities. Who could think the ordinary steppe mounds, looking very much like big heaps of earth, contained so much useful information? The Great Migration of the Peoples was not a relocation of hungry and ragged hordes, as some scholars would have it. No, it was an advance and dissemination of the Great Altaic culture across much of Eurasia. The Turkis made a step of enormous magnitude towards reconciliation between East and West. It was certainly an outstanding historical event of itself. The new state they established on new lands was a kind of bridge linking the separated parts of the ancient world in one Eurasia. Five generations came and went before the Kipchaks closed in on the Caucasus and the borders of the Roman Empire. They were led across those boundaries by Khan Aktash, who was the first eastern ruler to see the West at close range. Khan Aktash The galloping horsemen were clearly surprised when they saw a wide river suddenly coming into view, and stopped at the water edge spellbound by a spectacle they had not seen for long. The river was really great. They named it the Idel (the Volga of today; Russians continued to call it the Itil in the 10th and 11th centuries). They pitched a camp routinely and sent out scouts in all directions. After a while, the returning scouts reported seeing local people speaking an unknown language. This was, or could be, the first encounter between East and West, the Turkis and Europeans. We cannot tell with certainty who those Europeans were.

The Idel emptied into the Caspian Sea about three hundred kilometres south of the point where the Volga does today. In a broad sweeping meander, the river raced across the North Caucasus steppes, swerving towards the sea a short distance from the Caucasus Range. We do not know now who lived on its banks first reached by the Turkic cavalry. The Idel's old watercourse has survived, but time left nothing in the way of ancient living sites. Even though much has been destroyed, there is enough field-work to be done there. Ancient cities, for example. They are not there for the taking, of course. Rather, they seem to have spilled over the place and dissolved in mud. Little wonder, for they all had been built from mud blocks, to which straw was added for strength. The houses were warm in winter, but did not last long. Clay was washed out of the building blocks by rain and damaged by frost. Only the true brickwork foundations have come through. That was enough for the archaeologists to identify their Turkic style of steppe architecture. An ordinary brick of furnace-baked clay can tell a lot to an inquiring archaeologist. We learned about the Turkis' measures of length from brick dimensions. The builders actually used several measures of length, some of them - arshin (equivalent to 0.71 metre) and sazhen (equivalent to 2.13 metres) - going back to the Altai. Those were actually used in Russia for centuries after. But the main measure was the brick itself. All of the Turkis' bricks had standard dimensions - 26-27 centimetres long and 5-6 centimetres thick. Half-length made width, so a brick could nicely fit into a mason's palm. A really practical choice. Thousands of buildings were put up from these bricks from end to end of the steppe, between Lake Baikal and Western Europe. Some bricks bore a tamgha, or the mason's seal, to tell one builder from another. Square bricks were also used occasionally. Despite their different shape, they fitted into the same measure - 26 to 27 centimetres. After they had their bricks made to measure, the builders could proceed, with some kind of plan or design before their eyes. How else could they get their buildings so nice and neat? And they certainly made some calculations to see how many bricks they might need and where to place them. Archaeologists have found traces of ancient buildings in the Volga (Idel) drainage area, in the Ural and Altai mountains, in Kazakhstan and Daghestan, on the Don, in Ukraine and in Central Europe. Some other signs of the Great Migration of the Turkic people have been preserved almost intact. Roadside stones, for example, with a deer figure cut on each of them. For lack of any other name archaeologists have dubbed them "deer stones". The Sun Deer was yet another sign of Tengri, predating the Turkic cross by a long period of time. Deer Stones provided travellers with information they might need on the road. Symbols and legend were given on them in clear lines so they could be easily recognized at a distance - a sort of modern road map or sign. "Turn right to come to a palace, and nothing to go to the left for." No, it was not folklore, but an inscription on a Deer Stone. Inscriptions were made in Turkic runes, so no stranger unfamiliar with the old Turkic tradition of helping travellers could read them. Right, left, straight on, back were otherwise read as south, north, east and west, respectively. Equipped with stone road map instructions, a traveller could know where he was going and act accordingly. Long messages, even verses, were cut on large boulders or rocks, wherever they happened to be in the steppe. Poetry had been in the Turkis' blood, from the Altaic times, and continued to live on in the steppe. The Turkis composed poems and tales about their great trek westward. Some of their

folklore has survived, such as the ancient Tale of Aktash. It has changed immensely since it was first told, but its core remains the same. Really, Bashkirs insist that Khan Aktash was kin to them, Tatars say he was one of them, and Kumyks are certain he was a flesh and blood Kumyk. A river in Daghestan, North Caucasus, bears the famous khan's name, and the ruins of an old city built - in popular tradition - by Khan Aktash are those of his capital city. Was he a Bashkir, a Tatar, a Kumyk or what? All at once, I believe. And I have strong reasons for that. With a firm grip on the Idel, Khan Aktash established a state that had a name already Desht-i-Kipchak. The modern Kumyks, Bashkirs and Tatars were then all Kipchaks, a single nation with nothing to divide them, as they are divided today, with a common khan and one country. Centuries later, they have lost the sense of their common identity to an extent that they argue over priorities. A large Turkic khanate ruled by Khan Aktash arose in the 3rd century. It was an outcrop of the Great Migration. Development of new lands could only end in the emergence of new states, each with its own name, boundaries and ruler. Desht-i-Kipchak has a profound meaning. It is commonly translated today as the Steppe of Kipchaks (that is, Turkis who settled in the steppe). This translation explains very little, however, and is totally out of tune with Turkic tradition. We have very strong doubts about Desht or Dasht, which appears out of place here. Our doubts are reinforced by the fact that it was "foreign land", rather than "steppe" in ancient Turkic. Could then the steppe settlers call their new-found home something like "Kipchaks' abroad"? Hardly ever. Too indefinite. The puzzle is resolved if we take a closer look at the short "i" squeezed into insignificance by its two much bigger neighbours. It is what is actually left of the old isitep (sounds very much like "steppe"), which was Turkic for "shelter" or "protection", which leads us to "foreign land sheltering the Kipchaks". Now we have everything in its place, fine and clear. (Turkic syntax apart, the idea was exactly that.) "Desht-i-Kipchak" were the only appropriate words the Turkis migrating to the steppe to make it their new home could say - a new home where they were comfortable and happy. Steppe dwellers have no word more genial than isitep now. This is our l and, the dearest of all. The Kipchaks could now say with every reason: "The Altai is our cradle and the Steppe is our Homeland." The phrase "Desht-i-Kipchak" may certainly be interpreted differently. Not unlikely, some people will see it as more precise. If, for example, you start from the Turkic tash (or dash), which is "stone", "rock" or "highland", you get tashta (or dashta), a place of residence. Some researchers are striking out in this direction exactly. Others are probing into an Iranian equivalent (at least one is thoroughly explored). Whatever the case, the ancient Turkic word isitep will never make way for any other in a steppe dweller's heart. Idel Khan Aktash built cities, villages, homesteads and outposts in the steppe on both banks of the Idel. He was a very vigorous and enterprising ruler. No matter what claims Tatars, Bashkirs or Kumyks may have on his glory, he was a Turkic hero, a sort of generic name, if you wish, for a nation that had gone through endless hardship leaving a deep imprint on the Urals and Caucasus, for a khanate whose subjects were a united and determined nation.

The Turkic white horse galloped up and down the Idel, north or south, at will. Cities were established, beginning in the 3rd century, on that great river. Some of them are still very much alive today, like Sumeru (modern Samara), named in honour of Uch-Sumer, the Altai's sacred mountain. The place must have reminded the nostalgic Turkis about that distant sanctuary - a hill, vegetation or whatever: they never threw words around without a purpose. Another surviving city, Simbir (modern Simbirsk), or a "lone grave", arose next to the burial place of a holy man. Next, Sarytau, that is, "yellow mountain" (modern Saratov) was built on a sand hill. And, of course, Bulgar, which was famous in the early Middle Ages already, a city inhabited by Turkic and other races. A cosmopolitan city, judging by its Turkic name. More cities were built on the Idel's tributaries - the Kama, Oka and Aghidel, and in the Ural region, such as Chelyaba (modern Chelyabinsk), Taghil, Kurgan (translated as "mound") and many more, all of them bearing Turkic names. The Kipchaks did not, however, encroach on other tribes' land rights, and were good neighbours to the Udmurts, Mari, Mordvins, Komi, Permyaks and other peoples in the modern Volga area and the Urals. Actually, they were closely related, all coming from their common Altaic roots. Khan Aktash's forces marched past Scythian settlements. Their inhabitants were the descendants of Turkic families that had left the Altai in protest against Tengri's faith. They are modern Chuvash, who have remained loyal to the ancient Turkic faith, with one notable exception - they recognized Tengri, whom they call Ego Tura. The land of the Chuvash is a veritable museum and a treasure-store of the Turkic world, patiently waiting to be sorted out. It was not all smooth going, however. A foothold on the Idel had been won at a cost of occasional bloodshed and lives lost. The Turkic cavalry, for example, ran into stiff resistance from the Alans, a very strong and warlike tribe that had Roman legionaries back down when they attempted an incursion into the Alans' lands. The Alans effectively blocked the Turkis' advance towards the Don, and where the Turkic cavalry did reach the river, they were not even permitted to bathe their horses or restock their water supplies. Khan Aktash returned to the Idel humiliated. Descending downstream, he laid one more city, Seminder, the future capital city of the Khazar Khanate, putting a seal of title on the Idel as a Turkic river. Advance across the steppes ground to a halt here. Khan Aktash was short of soldiers to hold on to the areas he had overrun. Europe was showing ever more hostility, and the Turkis had to give more thought to their exposed flanks, especially the Caucasus. They could have a respite in the mountains, which offered natural defences far better than the best of fortresses. Unless they acted promptly, they would have been forced back across the Idel. Khan Aktash fought his way to the Caucasus. On reaching a major mountain stream, Khan Aktash built a city, in fact the first Turkic city in the North Caucasus, and Europe as a whole. A few mounds are all that remains of it now, and occasional remnants of brick walls and earthen ramparts, next to the Aktash River. Facing the ruins across the river is a Kumyk village, Endirei, held in deep respect by the Kumyks for its venerable age. From this long-lost city the Great Migration spearheaded southward, but only briefly. The Turkic cavalry was stopped at the walls of Derbent, without a hope of ever resuming its advance. Derbent was a dependable outpost of the Western world and an impregnable fortress perched on a mountaintop. A high stone wall ran down from the city towards the seashore, raising an impassible barrier across the road to Iran and the Roman Empire. Indeed the high

wall was so thick that a cart could be driven along its top. The wall gave safety to the city. And income, too. Not the wall exactly, but rather its gate that was only opened to merchant caravans for a toll - in cash or goods. Not surprisingly, the gate was closed to the Turkic horsemen. They had ridden against a blind wall, literally - with rocky cliffs at right, a sea at left, and a fortress they could not take in front. Well into the second half of the 3rd century on the planet, calm descended on the Turkic world. The Caucasus The land beyond the Derbent gate beckoned the Kipchaks, because it was totally unknown to them. It was a new land and a new culture for these eastern steppe dwellers. Of course, the Turkis had heard about Europe and the Roman Empire, but had never seen them. Now, with nowhere to go, they entrusted their fate to the Heaven. Desht-i-Kipchak resumed its customary peacetime chores - building new towns, smelting iron and raising crops and cattle. As before, people feasted, got married, raised children and mourned the death of their relations and friends. In short, their life had regained its leisurely pace. In the meanwhile, Turkic settlements were established and new cities built in the part of the Caucasus under their control. One of them was Hamrin. The city was famous for its sacred tree, the Tengri Khan tree, which was mentioned in almost every history of the Caucasus at the time. It was certainly not a sacred tree of a kind typically adulated by pagans. No, the Turkis kept alive a legend of a world tree embodying everything created by Great Tengri. (Incidentally, this is an occasion when Tengri was to be addressed as Hodai, the Creator.) The world tree concept is a full-scale science that gives ultimate knowledge to a man who, by learning it, begins to see the essence of the world and to comprehend the way it works. Europeans call this science philosophy. The world tree has branches reaching up to the sky and belonging to God and birds. The roots of the tree go deep down into the underworld, into the Serpent's kingdom. The tree trunk extends through the mid-world inhabited by humans and animals. This tree of life is as eternal as God himself, and you cannot see as you will never be able to see God. According to legend, the tree of life is a channel for spirits and thoughts to flow from one world to the other. The world tree gives humans the knowledge they need. Could it be that Hamrin was a city of wise men and philosophers? Was it possible that here, in the shade of the world tree, the Kipchaks sought counsel from Tengri? Surrounded as they were by enemies? Churches were shortly built in Hamrin, followed many decades later by mosques. Whatever went on around, the tree remained the city's main sanctuary. Today it is the site of a village called Kayakent. It has a regular urban plan, and the sacred Tengri Khan tree still grows on its fringe as a reminder of the place's glorious past. The Kumyks living here and beyond do not remember or know much about the tree, but they have a very deep respect for that tree growing in Kayakent. The tree of their future memories? Great events were brewing in the world back then, in the 3rd century. They began on the other side of the Derbent wall, with the Turkis standing by, no part left for them at first. Eventually, however, the Kipchaks were destined to become the main player and the moving force of the events. "What Tengri says will be," says an old wisdom. And, you won't believe it, the fortress gate opened by itself, without an effort on the

Kipchaks' part. Good intentions, they say, are sent by Heavens and they will not go unfulfilled. A good illustration of this is provided by what followed next in the history of the Caucasus and Europe as a whole. No one was more happy about the arrival of the Kipchaks than Armenians who were fighting a losing war with Iran across the Caucasus Range. They needed a strong ally and, accordingly, they sent ambassadors to Hamrin. They were the first nation in Europe to recognize the Kipchaks for what they were worth and applied every effort to get Derbent open its gate to the Kipchak cavalry. Armenian ruler Hosrow I seemed to pick the right ally. The Kipchaks delivered a smashing defeat on the enemy whose troops fled in terror. The war ended there and then. The allies each achieved their aims - Armenia wrested itself out of Iranian control and the Kipchaks became masters of Derbent and the entire western Caspian seaboard. Modern Azerbaijan has many signs refreshing memories of those times. One is, for example, the village of Kypchak. Or another, the town of Gyanja. Memories of the Great Migration of the Peoples can even be found in little-known towns and villages lost in the countryside. Look at Gusary. A modern name, it probably derives from the Turkic prophet Gheser. In the distant 3rd century, the Turkic world spilled over into the Caucasus, claiming the right to stay forever there. It shot deep roots in the new land and was firmly integrated into the culture of the Caucasus and Europe as a whole. After many amazing discoveries, we are certainly in for many more. The Turkis' arrival in the Caucasus was an unprecedented event in world history. Above all, it showed the strength of cavalry, a new type of army of horsemen that was a force everybody was to reckon with, and indicated the future routes and horizons of the Great Migration of the Peoples - from their new vantage ground, the Kipchaks had their eyes set on Europe and the Middle East. The Caucasus tensely waited for the political battle lines suddenly to spring into action and set global events in motion to change history and the world itself. The Turkis' arrival in Europe drew a line under antiquity and opened a new page, the Middle Ages. A new Europe was born, with the Turkis at its cradle. This Europe had sort of passed from infancy to adolescence. No point is made of this significant episode, however, by historians. The Caucasus had certainly played a major role in world politics, standing as it does at the watershed between East and West, a boundary between two worlds. It was a nexus of conflicting interests of Iran and the Roman Empire, where bloodshed had been going on for centuries. Also, it was perhaps the only place in the Western world where iron was made and used on a significant scale. In fact, because of its scarcity it was prized more than gold. (True, iron was not smelted here because of its very poor quality, and so, or nearly so, it was in the Carpathian Mountains, where Celts used very similar techniques.) Its poor quality regardless, it was a perennial bone of contention between competing powers. Left without Caucasian iron, the Roman Empire would have never emerged from the Bronze Age. Romans were unfamiliar with iron smelting practices, so they used bronze to make armour for their legionaries. Iran, too, relied on Caucasian iron to meet its needs. When the Turkis finished off the Iranian army in Transcaucasia, the bottom fell suddenly out of the existing set-up. The world politics that had been kept in balance here for centuries collapsed overnight, never to be born again. Very few people, save for the most astute, realised this. There were no visionaries among the Kipchaks, however. They were completely unaware of much of what was happening in Europe. They withdrew back to their steppes from across the Caucasus Range without trying to benefit from their victory - they up and left, leaving the

field to others to reap the harvest. Glad to have helped their Armenian allies, they returned to develop their side of the Caspian coast. The abandoned Transcaucasian field did not have to wait long for the reaper. He was the Roman emperor Diocletian, a crafty fox and leading politician of his age. With the whole of Europe lying at his feet, he felt he could bid for the world at large. In 297, Diocletian had all of Transcaucasia under his rule, and then fell upon the weakened Iran, seizing the richest provinces from it. His Iranian campaign was quick and splendidly victorious. Rome was enthusiastic. There was talk of a new Golden Age dawning on the empire. The success was utterly unexpected, even for the emperor himself. Victory was won much too easily, however. Deceptively easily, making Diocletian suspicious. He was alone to sense a coming storm in that easy victory over the Persians. The revolt in Armenia that soon followed gave him a foretaste of the catastrophe looming for the empire over the horizon. The revolt in Armenia was duly crushed and its Christian leaders were thrown into jail. That could change little, however. The Armenians gave the impression of being under a spell, waiting for a very important even to happen. A miracle predicted by St. Gregory. A Christian soothsayer, Gregory, had a vision of a fiery column, with a cross on top of it, rising to the sky. The cross radiated bright light, exactly like a lightning. At the time, the Armenians held little faith in the salvational power of the cross - they were still pagans. They did remember well, however, the cross-spangled banners the Kipchaks had fought under and were struck by coincidence - Saint Gregory saw a similar cross in the sky. Was it a sign of God? "The Turkis must be helped by their God of Heaven," the Armenians decided. Rumour about the Turkis' all-powerful God swept across Europe like wild fire. News of it was carried far and wide by Christians. They spread Jesus Christ's prophetic words of horsemen who would liberate the world from Rome's rule. You can read this prophesy in the Apocalypse, one of Christians' most revered books. It was looked to with hope. People would read every line time and again, relating the prophetic words to what was happening around them. There was a complete match. Everything was turning out exactly as the man called Christ had said. "The prophesy has been fulfilled. Now wait," St. Gregory addressed his followers, after he had seen the shining cross of Tengri in the sky. Weren't those words why Armenians called the Saint Gregory the Illuminator? Victory was round the corner. Bide your time and wait, was the message. The Turkis, of course, did not know, or even guess, what was happening in Europe at the time, until a young Armenian priest who came to them told them all. The Armenian's name was Gregoris, he was a grandson of St. Gregory the Illuminator, and he was only sixteen years old. Gregoris made a low bow and asked, in broken Turkic, for a meeting with the Kipchak king. Doesn't the Holy Book tell us, "What Tengri says will be"? The Turkis and Christianity Why did the young Bishop Gregoris come to see the khan and what did he ask for? No, it was not military assistance. This time, the Armenians were asking to be taught how to win. They (both pagans and Christians) wanted to adopt faith in the God of Heaven who had made the Turkis invincible. Christian Bishop Gregoris was the first European to come to the Turkis to learn about the faith in Tengri so he could then teach it to his people. In fact, he wanted to follow the example of Gheser and Khan Erke, this time in Europe.

At the time, hardly any European had as much as heard about the God of Heaven. Jews prayed to idols (teraphim) and pagan gods (elohim), and the Romans worshipped Jupiter. Heathen polytheism and dark barbarism were rampant across all of Europe. In stark contrast to them Christians revered no gods, denying them all and calling themselves atheists. They were awaiting the arrival of the horsemen on a mission from the God of Heaven. The horsemen did come. The Kipchaks' arrival at the boundaries of the Roman Empire and their brilliant victory over Iran impressed all, Christians above all. The Kipchaks were on everybody's lips - they were too outlandish to go unnoticed. Their iron armour and weapons made them look out of a different world in the Europeans' eyes. And they really were - from the bright world under the high sky of Tengri. Heathen Europe looked at them bottom-up, like a foot soldier does at a horseman. Europe lost to the Turkis on all counts, the principal of which was faith in God - really an asset it lacked conspicuously, in God who gave the Turkic people plenty of iron and an ability to make the most of it. A simple example will emphasise the importance of iron. A well-landed blow with an iron sword could cut a bronze one in two. In other words, Roman troops had no arms to resist the Kipchaks. Like prehistoric men with nothing else but wooden clubs. You can say whatever and however you like about the collapse of the Roman Empire, put forward any hypotheses and make any guesses. All discussion would be a waste of time unless you consider this simple fact. Turkic Tengri stood for iron and Rome's Jupiter symbolised bronze. The Kipchaks were to win inevitably, just as iron was superior to bronze. The Roman Empire was doomed, fully at the mercy of the Kipchaks, if and when they cared to finish it off. The Armenians would not send Bishop Gregoris for nothing. They were probably the only Europeans who made the correct guess about the course of future events, and did whatever they could to distance themselves from Rome on its deathbed, even if not dead yet. These were the reasons that brought the teenage bishop to Derbent. He was baptised there (ary-sili or ary-alkyn in Turkic) by immersion in water blessed by a priest holding a silver cross over it three times. Baptism with water is a key rite of the Tengri worship. In fact, initiation into the faith or, in other words, into the Turkic world. Baptism originated in the Ancient Altai where newborn babies were dipped in ice-cold water before they entered into the realm of the Eternal Blue Sky. (The baptismal bath made a child tiurk, which the Chinese translated as "strong" or "robust".) Another ancient Turkic word, aryg, meant "pure" in spirit. It was applied to a person that had gone through a cleansing ceremony. The use of water for baptism goes back to the Ancient Altai, among people who cared for their bodily and spiritual purity. Today, introduction of baptism is ascribed to Christians or to some other creed. It is completely wrong. Early Christians could not use baptism for the simple reason that Europe first learned about the ritual with the arrival of Kipchaks. This is an indisputable fact that is not covered up by Christian historians themselves. Baptisteries, or basins to have Christians baptised, were first built in the 4th century. As added evidence, Tibetans, who adhere to traditions of faith in Tengri, still perform aryalkyn and ary-sili rites. The Armenian bishop was, therefore, the first European to be admitted to the faith in Tengri. That was the Turkis' own way, full of spiritual symbolism, to express their relation to alliance with the West. Gregoris was baptised in a lake, Aji or Lake Cross, near the village of Kayakent. Turkic priests took the spiritually pure Gregoris to Hamrin where he was initiated into the

mystery of the World Tree. He was shown the Turkis' sacred texts, in particular, Tengri's covenants, which have, as far as can be judged by fragments, been incorporated in the Koran. And then, following an admission ceremony, he was allowed to join together the thumb and fourth finger of his right hand, a godly sign of reconciliation. In Oriental symbolism, the two joined fingers signified allegiance to Heaven. They were then lifted to the forehead, lowered to the chest, raised again to the left shoulder and then the right shoulder. The Turkis used this gesture to ask the God of Heaven for protection and patronage. (Bishop Gregoris was thus the first Christian who made the sign of the cross.) Early Christians did not cross themselves, being unaware of the force of the cross, and they adopted this practice from the Kipchaks. Gregoris told his hosts of Christ, whom he worshipped, about Europe and persecution of Christians. The Turkis believed him, accepting Christ for the Son of the God of Heaven, because they knew of other sons of Tengri, in particular, Gheser, the Turkic people's Prophet. Gheser is extolled in a prayer, which is very brief and emotional. "We gave you Gheser, so say your prayers to God…." This is phrase from Tengri's Testament. (Today, it makes up Sura 108 of the Koran.) The East still remembers these words, even though the meaning of Gheser (Kawsar or Kewser) is not clear to all. Gregoris spent a long time learning the mysteries of divine service. Turkis helped him to set up a Christian church in Derbent. (Many years later, it was renamed Albanian Church, after a new country in the Caucasus, Albania, Gheser being probably one of its cities.) Armenia was the first country in Europe to have a new Christian church in 301. The Armenian church accepted Tengri and adopted His cross. And more, Armenians borrowed the principles of divine service from the Turkis. (Previously, Christians had no rite of their own and followed Judaic practices in synagogues.) Armenians also were the first defectors from the old practices, causing ire and indignation in Rome. In response, Emperor Diocletian unleashed his notorious persecutions of new Christians. No Christian was, however, frightened by executions and banishment. The new faith acquired growing numbers of followers instead. The seeds of Turkic culture sprouted into plentiful shoots on the barren soil of heathen Rome. Indeed, no one can defy the omnipotence of the God of Heaven. Now, the various peoples comprising the Roman Empire talked without fear about the helplessness of the old gods. They openly rejected Jupiter, crushed Mercury's statues and smashed idols. "What Tengri says will be." In the end, Rome saw light as well. At one time, Emperor Diocletian wanted to convert to new Christianity, but took fright at the last minute. In desperation he abdicated and left the imperial palace. A wise politician, he realised that he had lost to the Turkis. He was defeated without ever engaging the Turkis on the battlefield. On his departure exactly, the Roman Empire gave way, without war or catastrophe. It ceased to be so self-assured and believe in itself, the greatest of earthly sins. The Cross on Europe's Temples Armenia and Albania (Caucasus), followed by Iveria (modern Georgia), Syria and Egypt were all looking forward to the arrival of the Kipchaks: the Great Migration of the Peoples continued over their territories. Or rather it was the Great Migration of the Cultures. Tengri's cross and Turkic spiritual culture were acclaimed and accepted everywhere. New Christianity (patterned on the Turkic faith) promised them complete freedom from Roman rule.

The Kipchaks instituted a Patriarchal See for the benefit of people in those countries in Derbent. It was a signal beginning, that early theological school for the West. Again, people came here, as they did to the Altai and the Kushan Khanate centuries before, to learn knowledge and experience. The school provided training to early Christian priests, taught them to perform rites and conduct divine services, initiated them in the mystery of faith, and trained preachers. How else could Europeans learn about the God of Heaven? From that time on, the Caucasus remained for long Europe's proselytizing centre. The world's first Christian church was built in Derbent. It was patterned on Turkic temples, which could not be entered by the parishioners. Hundreds of people flocked to the new spiritual spring source from former Roman colonies. The church building has survived to our days under layers of soil. It was unearthed by archaeologists by accident, as they were digging in the fortress under another project. No one expected to find it there. At first, they mistook it for an old granary. As they dug deeper, however, they realised they had uncovered an ancient temple buried in the ground intact, from foundation to dome. God saved it from destruction after so many centuries. Turkis built their temples to resemble equal-armed crosses from a bird's-eye view. The temple in Derbent exactly fulfilled this requirement. Besides, it is small and has brick walls, widespread among the Kipchaks. Similar churches were soon built in Armenia, Iveria and other countries allied with the Kipchaks. Their Turkic origins are suggested by signs their builders cut in the church walls. Researchers scratched their heads for a long time, "What these unintelligible signs could mean?" The answer was very simple. They were tamghas, or peculiar seals. Every one of Turkic tribes (or tuhums) had one. (Incidentally, the tamgha laid the beginnings for European heraldry, an imaginative science studying symbols and genealogies.) After centuries of silence, the inscriptions on the walls of old churches spoke up when the tamghas' owners were identified. An inscription in ancient Turkic in an Armenian church says, for example, "Accept this gift for the monastic brotherhood." It ends with the donor's tamgha. This gift was given, among other donations, by the Turkis to the Armenian people about seventeen hundred years ago to celebrate the Armenians' admission to the new faith. A short phrase, it speaks much about the peoples' destinies. A stone block in another church, near the chapel dedicated to Vachagan III the Blessed, bears a mason's engraving of a horseman wearing a priest's clothing. He sat on his horse in a Turkic fashion, straight up, his legs down without stirrups. Another puzzle to be unravelled? No, if we know that priests never used stirrups riding in the steppe. Simply, they were not allowed to use them, the stirrups being a prerogative of warriors. November 10, 326, was a day for celebrations in Armenia - the Tengri Cross was raised on that day over Europe's first few churches. From that day on the Armenian people have been loyal to their newly acquired faith and the liberation mission of their cross. The Holy Cross feast has always been a joyous occasion for celebrations in Armenia, for it was a turning point in its history. And right were the Armenians calling St. Gregory the Illuminator, head of the Armenian Church, a Saint - he actually showed the road to the Turkis to his grandson and his people. St. Gregory departed from Derbent riding a royal chariot under a cavalry convoy - he was carrying with him an equal-armed cross, a sacred symbol and sign of a new Europe, from the Turkic world. The Turkis conferred a high, indeed very high, honour upon the head of the Armenian

Church, giving him the title of katylic, which is "ally" or "initiated" in Turkic. This title, modified to Catholicos over centuries (with the Greek ending "-os" added on later), has been retained to our day. Christian communities in Syria, Egypt and the Byzantine Empire kneeled before this God's servant, the first true pastor of the Christian world. Armenia's authority was growing tremendously in those years. Armenia provided a conduit for European and Mediterranean culture to absorb the secular and spiritual treasures of the Turkic world. The words "Light comes from the East" have since acquired a more than simple physical meaning. Really, Light comes from the East. Europe knew very little about the East. Its encounters with the Turkic world were infrequent and sporadic. The Romans took advantage of public ignorance to brand the Kipchaks as villains and vicious and savage barbarians so as to scare off people and prolong their domination. Unfortunately, they succeeded in many of their designs. Bishop Gregoris was the only European to know the truth about the Turkic people and its culture. He lived in Derbent, conducted service in the name of the God of Heaven and he knew the Kipchaks firsthand. He was like a Prophet whose dedicated service was reminiscent of Gheser's deeds. Europeans called Gregoris an Evangelist. That went against the plans of the God of Heaven's haters lying in wait in Rome. Rome's rulers were afraid of hearing the truth about the Kipchaks and feared their arrival in Europe. As on numberless occasions before, they resorted to defamation, which was their favourite tool. That was easy enough for them to do for Gregoris was a scion of a noble Iranian family. Not without Iranian help, they accused the young bishop of the fall. The tragic day of trial came. Gregoris had nothing to say in his defense. All facts were against him. The Turkis put him to a painful death, in Derbent's central square. They tied the young man to the tail of a wild horse and the judges pronounced the sentence. Gregoris did not plead for mercy before death, as he had not at trial. He uttered no words for he had nothing to be sorry of. All he did was look up to the sky and say quietly: Tengri salg'an namusdan k'achmas ("What Tengri says will be"). The awe-struck judges did not immediately grasp the meaning of his last phrase. When they did, it was too late - the horse was galloping along the seashore and was very far to attempt to stop it. The execution was promptly pronounced a martyred death and prayers were said to Tengri to make the soul of the hero and innocent victim the Kipchaks' patron. It was an ancient Altaic tradition to seek protection from a fallen hero. From that very moment Bishop Gregoris was given a Turkic name, Jargan ("recklessly desperate"). In spirit he became one of Turkis, a man as recklessly desperate as the Kipchaks themselves. The Turkis accepted him into their community and said many prayers for Jargan's soul to be reincarnated in a newborn Turkic boy, never to leave the Turkic world. (A note must be made here that the Turkis attached tremendous importance to name changing and reincarnation of the soul since a very distant past, because, in particular, change of name marked the end of an old life and beginning of a new life.) Jargan was buried with high honours befitting a Turkic national hero, on top of the highest mountain there was at Derbent. A small chapel was put up on his grave, and a church was built on the execution site. A miracle occurred on the ninth day after burial - a water spring struck next to the grave. Curative water spouted out of the ground on the very mountaintop where no springs had ever existed before. Pilgrims started coming to the grave from places far and near. A small village soon grew up nearby - guards and their families now lived there. The secrets of the holy place were closely guarded from generation to generation. The guards

tended the spring and people continued to come here to pay their respects, and still do. The Turkis and the Byzantine Empire Different nations cherish memories of their history in different ways. Most frequently, they take the form of legends or tales, folk poems or folklore passed by word of mouth from generation to generation. Even with insignificant details gone from its memory, a nation remembers the high points of its past, for this is the way human memory is made. Reading the information contained in legends is a task within reach of modern science. Here we suddenly discover that culture is, apart from anything else, a store of popular memories. In fact, culture makes a nation, with a future as well as past. Legends, fairy-tales, and poems were not made to kill time, with nothing else to do. Rather, every piece of folklore had a profound meaning for the contemporaries - and posterity, too, for mystery lurks behind each line. Turkic legends are exactly like that - elaborate phrases, minutely detailed descriptions of subjects, and ever-present mystery or rather a secret meaning to be gleaned between the lines. The Turkis treasured each and every one of their heroes like we do a precious gem. His name, attire and weapons were all invested with meaning, and quite understandably so. A story-teller remembered dozens of legends, and were he to forget a hero's name or any detail of the narration, he had no right to tell a legend. The Turkis, of course, remember well the episode that occurred at Derbent walls. Azerbaijanis, Kumyks, Tatars and other Turkic nations do remember a story of an enormous Serpent, Ajdarkha, that took to frequenting an Oriental city, seizing or extorting one thing or another. In the end, he captured the water spring and demanded to be provided with young girls as a condition for returning the spring to the city. The ruler's daughter was no exception. When her turn came, a warrior volunteered to deliver her. He won over the Serpent, not with weapons, but by saying a prayer. All people saw that his word proved stronger than his sword, for that word was "God". That legend evolved over centuries, as some details were added or told differently. The warrior was given different names - Khyzr or Khyzr-Yilyas, Keder or Kederles, or Jirjis. Name changes regardless, he has always remained a youthful guard of the life source. The legend has been known in Europe as well, since no one knows when. Europeans had many different names for the warrior - St. George, Georg, Egory, Juri, Jri and dozens more. These differences are nothing to be surprised at. One person was different things for different peoples, because of political, religious or other reasons. A common occurrence in the history of nations, when politicians forced culture to serve their purposes. The opposite several persons combined in legends into one, again to please politics - is a fairly frequent case as well. Khan Aktash is one. The Turkic legend of Jargan was rejected in Rome. Roman bishops could not do otherwise. They took fright that its text could reveal the secret closely guarded by the Western church. In 494 they banned Christians from as much as mentioning the name of Gregoris (Jargan). The Turkic saint was first made over into a martyr and then a killer - he was sat on a horse and sent to kill the Serpent, which, you know, is the ancestor of the Turkic race. The old legend has changed beyond recognition. This is the image in which St. George (Jargan or Gregoris) is known today. Every effort was made to conceal the truth about the feat, about the God of Heaven who had come to Europe from the Turkis, and about the fact that the Turkis stood at the sources of Christian culture that came into its own following the disintegration of the Roman Empire. Finally, the truth that Rome fell under the blows of Turkic cavalry.

It was more than folk legend that was changed. The history of the Turkic people was maliciously altered, too. That was not done by some frightened monk in an out-of-the-way monastery. This was part of a policy that the Western church had pursued towards the Kipchaks. An insidious policy it was. But because of it very little truth is known about Deshti-Kipchak and its people. Facts have, however, remained what they are - facts. They never change because they are held together by logic. Logic (a very clever science where proof goes) has helped reconstruct the events as they actually occurred and learn the whole truth. The truth is this. Christian Greeks came to Derbent in 311. They arrived with a purpose you wouldn't call well-intentioned. Their aim was to commit a crime the like of which the world had never seen and the traces of which are carefully concealed to this day. At the time, the Roman Empire was all in turmoil: the old rule fell and no new one was in sight. Seven august claimants were fighting for the imperial throne. Streets resounded with talk of the inability of old Roman gods to put things right. Eventually, the empire broke in two - Western and Eastern empires. Chaos descended on both. The Greeks were the first Europeans to remember the old political axiom: "Your god your rule." So they came to the Turkis in an attempt to steal the God of Heaven and impose their power on Europe. Never before had anyone attempted anything like that. People came to learn, not steal from the Turkis. A Greek by the name of Constantine was among the seven august pretenders or emperors (rather, claimants to the shaky throne of the Roman Empire). Like his rivals, however, Constantine had only his high title to show for his claim, without an army and, therefore, power. The Mediterranean was in the hands of Maxentius, the real emperor. His army was stationed in Rome, and nothing seemed to forebode trouble. One day, however, the Romans saw horsemen galloping under banners decorated with a cross (those were labarums) no one had ever seen before. The attack was sudden and daring. Maxentius' army was dealt a devastating defeat at the Milvian Bridge in sight of the walls of invincible Rome in 312. Maxentius was killed in the battle, and Constantine hastened to proclaim himself emperor. Actually, the Kipchaks who had entered into an alliance with him on his insistence cleared the way to the throne for him. The Turkic cavalry won a battle, victory in which was ascribed to the Greeks. Really, the Greeks had not a single soldier under their banners. The balance of forces in Europe swung heavily in Constantine's favour. The period of anarchy ended. In the same year 312, by a mere coincidence, the Greeks invited Turkic priests to say prayers before congregation crowds to the Sole God (in Turkic, of course). Prayers were said on central squares of Greek cities on orders of Licinius, Constantine's rival for power in the empire's East. Europe first heard about God from those preachers. This is a confirmed historical fact. The public saw the will of God in the Kipchaks' victory over Maxentium. Fighting under a cross-emblazoned banner, a small Kipchak force had no trouble defeating the Roman army. Its victory was received as a sign of the Heavens. Indeed, "your god your rule" was the general opinion. A very shrewd politician, Constantine grasped at this chance to show himself off, in the wake of that victory, as a believer in the new God and make the new faith and the Turkis serve his objectives. Following Licinius' example, he came out for recognition of the new Christianity that had come from its birthplace in the Caucasus. He expected to benefit from an alliance with the Kipchaks. As they write history books, some researchers overturn, pass up or conceal facts of history

as politicians tell them. They ignore the old maxim that you cannot conceal the truth for long it will come out eventually, at the least expected time. The Greeks chose to conceal the truth. They accepted the faith in God under Constantine. This is a fact no one is going to deny. Historians pass up for some reason the fact that they accepted it from Turkic priests, however. They seem to forget that there were no other teachers or bearers of faith in the God of Heaven around at that time, only the Kipchaks. The Turkic religion gave rise to Buddhism in the East and to new Christianity in the West. Tengri opened up differently to different peoples, and His presence in the new places was added evidence of the Great Migration of the Peoples. Europeans did recognize God and, through Him, Turkic spiritual culture. These facts cannot be denied or concealed. It is impossible to conceal that Constantine never accepted God and remained a heathen all his life. A heathen High Priest. He was least of all interested in true faith and only cared for power. He went to great lengths to deceive the Kipchaks, so they could be next to him and keep him in power. He paid a high price for victory over the Romans and lavished gifts and promises on the victors. He stinted no efforts or money to keep the Turkic warriors at his side so they could serve him. And stay behind they did. It looked as though the Greeks had overindulged them on drinks. Those traitors were later known as "foederati" (suggesting the treaty they had signed with the Greeks). Constantine pampered them as best he could. For example, he introduced a new calendar, with a day-off on Sunday, the Turkic way. Townsfolk were now forced to go to church and pray to the new God of Heaven. Please note a significant fact: until the year 325 the Greeks prayed to Tengri only and relied on Turkic books and prayers in church service. This fact is completely forgotten or ignored. Really, it helps explain some of the darker aspects of European history. For example, coins minted in the Byzantine Empire at the time bore the image of the Sun, or more exactly, equal-armed sun crosses, Signs of the Sun. And Constantine himself was generally known as the Sun cult follower. Was it right? What is more, Turkic, dubbed "soldiery", was spoken in the Byzantine army for a long time afterward. Thousands of Kipchak families were induced to settle on Greek lands. They were given the best lands and their relocation costs were paid by the Byzantine treasury in gold to the khans of Desht-i-Kipchak. Their relocation was, of course, part of the Great Migration of the Peoples. Actually, though, it was not a free movement of free people - the Kipchaks' services were bought for gold. In real fact, the Kipchaks were behind the rise of the Byzantine Empire, a major presence in Eastern Europe for a millennium. Three generations past, a Byzantine culture sprouted in the new country, a product of cooperation between two nations admitted to this day. According to experts, its eastern component played a predominant role. Nothing to wonder about. Europe offered a replay of the Kushan Khanate scenario, with the only difference that the Byzantine Empire was ruled by a Greek rather than a Turki. Whatever the case, it was a close fusion of two cultures. (Doesn't it strike you how cheaply and smartly the Greeks bought the Kipchaks?) Constantine had no enemies now, keeping a tight rein on the gullible Kipchaks. He played generous with them and spared no efforts to have them on his side. Unless he did, no one would have heard of the Byzantine Empire, ever. In 324 Constantine laid a new capital, Constantinople, for his empire. And again he turned to Turkic architects, so they could build it in their own way, as a challenge to Rome, with churches erected in the name of Tengri. A foxy trickster, that what he was. Anyway, the Byzantine Empire was born.

Emperor Constantine the Perfidious Rome's colony of yesteryear, the new empire was gaining strength with each passing year and turning, with Kipchaks' helping hand, into a prosperous country. Alliance with the Turkis gave it the weight to dictate its will to Egypt, Syria, Palestine and Rome itself. Constantine's appetite was growing, however. In 325 he summoned all Christian priests to Nicaea (modern Iznik, Turkey) for the First Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church (General Council) that went down in history as the Council of Nicaea. The Council set a sole objective no one cared to disguise. The emperor told the Council to establish a Christian church on a Greek, not Turkic, pattern. He had toyed with that idea for years, stinting no efforts or money to achieve his aim. Under Constantine's design, Tengri and Christ were to become one person, or rather a sole God. The Greeks thought that the name of Tengri they usurped would give them divine power. And they needed the Council of Nicaea and the church itself for this purpose. By appropriating Tengri for the needs of their church, they encroached upon Turkic prayers, rites and churches, upon Turkic culture as a whole. The treasures the Turkis had spent centuries to amass were now taken over by the Byzantine Empire and its Church. A real crime against the Turkic people, isn't it carefully concealed to this day? The priests gathered at the Council of Nicaea failed to see through Emperor Constantine's design. When they finally realised what was behind it, they got indignant. Making God and man one - could there be a sillier thing? A sacrilege? The first to speak out in defence of Tengri was Bishop Arius of Alexandria, Egypt. You could not, he said, equate man and God, for God was spirit and man was flesh, or God's creation to be born and die by the will of God. Arius was a very enlightened man, confident in his power of persuasion. He was supported by bishops of the Armenian, Albanian (Caucasus), Syrian and several other churches. Not one of them, of course, rejected Christ, and no one wanted to equate him with God, for fear of divine punishment. The argument ended abruptly and pathetically. Emperor Constantine, an unbaptised neophyte, who presided at the Council, interrupted Arius rudely, saying he was not there to be contradicted. The dissident bishops remained unconvinced. They defied Constantine's will and did not equate God and Christ. Which signified that they retained loyalty to the faith they had been taught by Turkic clerics at Derbent. Tengri remained the true God in the Christian churches of Armenia, Albania (Caucasus), Iveria, Syria, Egypt and Ethiopia, and congregations in those countries continued to pray to Him alone. His images were portrayed on icons and churches were dedicated to Him. Surprisingly, the Turkic khans seemed to overlook the Council of Nicaea, as though they lived in a different world, in which "there is no god but God." Again, the Greeks got away with impunity. To vindicate themselves, they came up with a New Testament, a book of Christ's deeds and genealogy, which, they claimed, were records left by Christ's disciples. It was a brazen lie. How and where could they find those records, if Christ's name was first mentioned in the 2nd century (by the Greeks themselves)? A situation, of which the Turkis say, "Spit at the Sky and get the spittle in your face." Anyway, the New Testament compilers did not bother much about niceties. When they learned about Gheser (Tengri's son), the Greeks attributed some of his deeds to Christ and borrowed some other details from Buddha's life story. In the end, the politicians, little concerned about religion, succeeded in composing a sacred book for the Christian world,

which was reviewed and rewritten time and again by none other than politicians. The whole thing has nothing to do with true faith. Constantine was a politician with a deep sense of what he wanted. He picked the right time to set up his own church. Tensions boiled over between the Kipchaks and their neighbours, the Alans, so the Kipchaks' concerns were very far from Greek intrigues. "When two men fight one of them dies," runs an Oriental saying. The Battle for the Don The East has always followed its own rules. People there have always seen things their way and had their own ideas about values. They could forgive but never forget an affront. The quarrel between the Alans and Turkis over the Don River went on for a long time. It did not subside a bit after Khan Aktash's death. Anything, even long quarrels, must end sometime, with one side winning and the other losing. Actually, the river was not at the centre of the quarrel. It was only a pretext. In the distant age the Don marked Europe's easternmost boundary. The Kipchaks, therefore, made war for advance into Europe. The Alans were not their real enemies. They were manipulated by Romans and Greeks who secretly assisted the Alans in the clear hope that the Turkis would be content with remaining foederati, or obedient servants, forever. Those were the mainsprings of politics at work. Some scholars hold that the Don got its name from the Alans. That was their word for "water". Very probable. But are other rivers made of sand and gravel? Again, the quarrel was not over who could drink and how much of the Don's water. The Kipchaks were squeezed for land by the pressure of their growing population, and whatever suitable land was in sight was on the western side of the river. The Kipchaks multiplied rapidly for such reasons as affluent life in cities and villages and the ancient tradition of having many children and hard work to make households prosperous. "Four children do not make a family," ran Kipchak wisdom. On the birth of a fifth (or perhaps seventh?) child, a man won a status in the community. His status rose even higher if all his children were boys. By an old Kipchak tradition, the youngest son stayed behind to help his ageing parents, while the elder sons rode off to develop new lands or took up army service. Really, Desht-i-Kipchak had reasonable laws - they seemed to be made for the benefit of the country's children and to be focused on concern for them. A striking fact for those days. A child was taken care of as best his parents could so he could care for them when they grew old. If, for one reason or another, a family had only one son, the young man was given an earring to wear on conscription into the army, so he would not be assigned to risky or dangerous duties. The last remaining man in a family wore two earrings. He enjoyed special privileges so he could marry and have children of his own. All men were required to serve in the army. Army service was an honourable and sacred duty. No exemptions were allowed. A young man out of service was not allowed to marry. Besides, no girl would want to marry him. So he exerted himself to the utmost to get noticed and wanted for a husband. Army service was a strong incentive in Kipchak society. Years before enrolment, a boy was given a colt to tend. On conscription, he rode his own horse and carried his own arms. He was well prepared for field service and knew many practical things about army life. This was largely due to tradition - a boy always helped his father about house, with no time left for idling, except for paramilitary training alongside his peers. That was a good way to learn about life in the steppe. A Kipchak was born in the saddle. No other horseman could sit as firmly and gracefully as

a Kipchak. His horse was a continuation of his own self. In fact, both men and women were unsurpassed horse riders. No creature on Earth was more dignified for them than the horse. They were acknowledged horse breeders and trainers. Young braves went out of their way to please the seasoned elders. Turkis always equated horse riding with art. Man and horse fused into one creature. This creation of the Great Steppe can only be appreciated by a person whose veins carry warm Turkic blood. There were no festivals without horse racing and fancy riding, and every day brought new joys and pleasures. Is it surprising then that cavalry was the chief fighting force of Desht-i-Kipchak? But all this was not enough to overpower the Alans. The Alans were skilful and hardy fighters. They had their own way of fighting on the battlefield. Their soldiers were formed into a battle square, rimmed with copper shields and bristling with long lances to take up the attackers. The Alans' short straight swords and light bows were a strong deterrent for anyone. The Turkis' sabres were of little help against such enemy. In warfare, the Alans were superior to both Romans and Turkis. The stalemate was finally ended when, after a long search for a chink in the Alans' armour, the Kipchaks invented a heavy longbow, known by that name ever since in history - the Turkic longbow. It took a strong fellow to draw a longbow - some 150 centimetres long - or shoot an arrow with a heavy iron tip. But then the arrow had an awesome piercing power. This tie-breaking invention was preceded by another - screeching arrows. A very helpful invention they proved to be. A flying arrow produced a blood-freezing sound, bringing trouble in its wake. Really, a swooping demon. Evidently, many other inventions were made and tricks thought up. The military history of that period has regrettably received very little attention from scholars. Came the year 370. A watershed of sorts. Khan Balamir set out with his army towards the Don. Now he meant business. The Alans were not aware of the Kipchaks' latest invention. As usually, they promptly arranged their troops in a battle square poised for repulsing cavalry attacks. The buglers hooted the sound of an inevitable charge. The Turkis were not in a hurry now, like they had been on all previous occasions. Khan Balamir kissed the banner and addressed his troops with firm and confident words of vow and exhortation and, following the ancient Turkic tradition, made a cross of Tengri, blessing his soldiers. Now his cavalry moved on slowly towards the enemy. It halted at a distance from the enemy square. A battle song was heard, and archers advanced forward. They unleashed a torrent of screeching arrows on the enemy ranks. The Alans heard evil spirits swooshing over their heads and a swarm of witches riding on their brooms. The Alans got really terrified. Screeching arrows were only a scare - a debilitating scare. Longbow archers stepped in now. They sent their heavy arrows for a kill. The Alans' copper breastplates were just as good as eggshells - Turkic arrows just went through them and the wearers with ease. The regular ranks fell apart and panic broke out among the enemy troops. The hour struck for the Turkic cavalry to sweep the field. Swords flew up and swooped on the hapless Alans. As hours seemed to have passed, the Kipchaks showed no sign of fatigue or mercy - chopping down the fleeing foot soldiers. The river turned scarlet with so much blood shed, and the ground was covered with a blanket of dead bodies. The massacre went on and on. The Turkis won a clear victory and returned home. They did not come back to the scene of the massacre for two years, as though giving the earth time to soak up the blood and heal its wounds. In 372 the Kipchaks arrived again, now in their wagons to look for sites to build cities and villages. Archaeologists have dug up evidence to date, with a high degree of probability,

nearly all old cities on the Don to exactly that period, when they were laid by the Kipchaks. The ancient Tanais has since had its name changed to Don, or Ana Don (Mother Don), as the Kumyks call it in their language. In fact, "don" is an old Turkic word for "billowing country". Back in the Altai, they had a Don Terek, Don Khotan, and so on. Here in Europe they only wanted to make a point that the river flows across a steppe dotted with hills and plateaus. So much for the origin of the river name. The Turkis in Europe The chain of steppe cities and villages crept slowly farther away from the Altai as the vast country's boundary moved westward. In area, the Turkic land was the largest of all states the world had ever seen. The Roman Empire was in its heyday less than a quarter as large as Desht-i-Kipchak. You could dismiss the Byzantine Empire out of hand - it had an area of one yurt (region), at best two yurts, of the steppe power. It took a horseman eight months to ride from Central Europe at the western border of the Great Steppe to the Ilin River in the east. The Kipchaks settled on uninhabited or, rather no man's, lands, adding them to their enormous homeland. All was not as easy as is said. The pioneers fought their way through impassable terrain, enduring severe winter cold and summer drought, and coming through spring floods. They never stopped longer than they needed to build cities and villages, roads and bridges, and develop croplands, orchards, canals and grazing grounds. They pressed on and on. Developing new lands was a really formidable challenge. Each time the settlers were to start all over again - roads, river crossings, villages, croplands and cities. Year in year out, land development was a lifelong process. Then there were certainly brushes with the enemy. Much smaller in scale than the great battle on the Don. No one dared put up a serious fight to the Kipchaks. Their strength was well known in all of Europe - rumour flew much faster than the cavalry or settlers' wagons. Sword and plough, battle horse and sheep flock, warrior and shepherd…. These were the symbols of the Great Migration of the Peoples. (Add to them builder, craftsman, blacksmith, armourer, weaver, even wine-maker and baker.) The Kipchaks must have been a very skilful nation to give new life to undeveloped lands. The Great Migration of the Peoples was not conquering other countries and turning their populations into slaves. It was, in fact, creating a new country, a homeland for the Kipchaks. Skilled craftsmen and hard-working farmers rather than damned Tatars or warlike nomads, which are the common labels attached to them, developed the steppe. In the 5th century, the Kipchaks built a city on a high bank of the Desna River. They named it Birinchi (which evolved into Brjanecsk), which is Turkic for "first" or "chief". It was destined to become the capital of Desht-i-Kipchak and a major city in Europe. The city lies in a lovely spot, at a meeting place between the steppe and woodland, on a dividing line between the Turkic world and Northern Europe. Today the city is known as Briansk. No one says or remembers how old the city is. Local archaeologists alone are surprised, with no one to share their bewilderment, to dig out artifacts at least fifteen hundred years old. No one can explain how they got to be there. The townsfolk live in total ignorance of their city's history or their own origins. Occasionally, they dig out some ancient building foundations, earthenware shards, even gold artifacts, and take them for a godsend, to be wondered at and admired, not asked why or wherefrom. Really, local subsoil is packed with wonders. A thousand years ago their ancestors who

lived here spoke Turkic, a fact no one knows about. The ancient city has no history to be proud of now. It was closed, or rather torn out, on orders of Peter the Great. Let us reconstruct some of it here. Birinchi played an important, in fact, a key role in the Turkic world. It was the seat of the Turkis' chief priest and his "white wanderers" (the name Kipchaks called their travelling preachers). The city was the spiritual centre of the Great Steppe, a holy place for the Kipchaks. Its importance was emphasised by rich iron ore deposits that gave the city a central role. More cities and townships crowded around it. Tolu (modern Tula) was another key city built during the Great Migration of the Peoples and inhabited by craftsmen, metal smelters, arms makers and other skilled folk. The Turkic word tolum translates as "arms". And again, Tula is a city without a past, too, like the Great Steppe and the Turkic nation, cut off from its ancient history and living in a misty dream. Kursyk (modern Kursk), too, has a sad story to tell. We cannot say exactly what kind of city it was or what its residents did. Its toponymics only suggests that it was "ready for battle". At least, its name translates so from Turkic. We must take it, therefore, as "guard city". Karachev was a city that awoke in the morning to the sounds of martial tunes. This garrison city, along with Kursk and Tula, was an outpost protecting the approaches to Birinchi. The list of cities, on which the Kipchaks depended for their supplies of arms and daily necessities, is quite long - Kipenzai (modern Penza), Buruninezh (Voronezh), Shapashkar (Cheboksary), Chelyaba (Chelyabinsk), Bulgar, in fact, dozens of cities, big and small. Cities in Desht-i-Kipchak were linked by roads and postal services. Turning away from the east southward, we find Baltavar (Poltava), a major trading centre in those distant times. It was a venue of auctions and fairs that brought merchants from across Turkic lands and foreign countries. Baltavar was a prosperous city (its name means "bountiful" in Turkic). Of course, it was not the sole trading city in the whole of Desht-iKipchak. Khan Kobiak took a fancy to a high hill in the downstream Don, as a good place to build a city in. Today, the place is known as Kobiak City. Nearby is another city, Aksai, formerly a garrison that guarded, they said, the Don delta. Actually, Kipchaks built fortress cities in the deltas of all major streams. They had a knack for city building. Their cities looked simple and devoid of flashy splendour. But they were comfortable to live in - broken down into blocks by wide streets. All urban construction followed old Turkic blueprints. The buildings were set on brickwork foundations and a central square, or maidan, was laid out for public gatherings (or meetings, if you like). Foundations are signs that relate to archaeologists much about the design and outward appearance of old buildings. Kipchak buildings turned out to be complex engineering structures. Builders never started work before proper calculations had been made. Are we to understand that the "nomads" had their own engineers, mathematicians and designers? Or was there a learned man to guide all construction work? Wonder, how else could they do all that? Passages were dug underground to connect large halls where provisions were laid in for people to sit out an enemy attack. No civilians were in sight while the siege went on. Archaeologists were amazed to find those underground cities almost the size of surface cities. That was not the end of surprises, though. The underground halls had brick vaults and the connecting galleries revealed an ingenious concept, being wide enough for two horsemen to pass by and providing ventilation and running water. It is still not clear how the Kipchaks managed to do this. One thing we know for sure is that, at one time or another, they were forced by circumstances to build two-tiered cities. Or else they encircled their cities with a log palisade or brick walls, an entirely different kind of self-protection.

Flow water was common as well. Earthenware pipes were placed under the cobblestone streets, The Kipchaks followed a city siting code of their own. A site was to be scenic and easy to support life. Aksai is a good example - the Don and the open steppe going back to the horizon. New roads were laid from the Don as far as another river, which the Greeks called Borysthenes. We know it as the Dnieper today. Curious what "Dnieper" was in Turkic? Opinions differ and we will not go into them. What we are interested in here is that the Kipchaks appeared to have a fashion to add a prefix "don" to major rivers in Europe - Doneper, Donester, Donai. Why? Was it to do with cryptography? What kind of? Academics have not come up with an explanation as yet. "Coincidence" is their general consensus. No, I beg to disagree. The explanation is simple enough - the hills and plateaus the rivers wind their way around, and Turkic tradition, too. (Moderns seem to know next to nothing about geographical discoveries, and still less about name giving.) An advancing Turkic force sent scouts forward to look for grazing grounds, croplands, and residential sites and give names to terrain features, as well as to watch out for enemy. How they did it, we do not know as yet. The scouts moved stealthily across the untrodden steppe, followed cautiously by settlers in their wagons. It took the Turkic spearhead two hundred years to advance from the Altai to Europe. The first Turki to see the Alps (with most of Europe sprawled around them) was Attila, the great Turkic warlord and eternal hero of the Great Steppe. Rome's Duplicity The Kipchaks' calm and peaceful ways struck terror in the hearts of Roman rulers. Everyone was afraid of the self-assured horsemen. Spies were planted on them to keep a secret watch on their movements, and to do them harm at every opportunity. Everything looked decent on the outside, though. The Greeks, for example, were all praise for the Kipchaks and even volunteered, in 312, to pay tribute to Desht-i-Kipchak. (What else could they do, when their armies were beefed up with Kipchaks, their cities built by Kipchaks, and their cornfields tended by Kipchaks?) Rome, too, paid a tribute to the Kipchaks. But it did this against its own free will. The steppe dwellers' wagons were first sighted at the northern bord ers of the Roman (Western) Empire in the 380s, if we take contemporaries on their word. Accordingly, early Turkic settlements were built at approximately the same time. At first, Romans were frightened at the prospect of living side by side with Kipchaks. Things changed with the passage of time. The newcomers ceased to look as fearful as they did at the start. Following the Byzantine example, Rome began looking for ways to make the Kipchaks tame and compliant. Chance was on their side. All happened sooner than everybody expected. Severe drought struck Kipchak lands for two straight years, devastating their stores of provisions. Hunger decimated the steppe population. There was a chance crafty Roman traders could not miss. They made rounds of Kipchak localities, selling stale foodstuffs to the hungry families. Food products were sold for gold only. A family that had run out of gold had no other alternative than swap its children for dead dog meat Romans brought along. It certainly pained parents to sell their children off to slavery, but it was the only chance to save them from death by starvation. Repulsive and inhumane as those trade-offs were, they speak of the Romans' moral

standards. The Kipchaks bore their woes staunchly. They could certainly rob the traders in desperation or keep them off limits. They did neither. They endured hardship in silence. All this disgrace occurred at a time when Rome embraced the Greek version of Christianity and pledged itself to be a katylik, or ally, to the Kipchaks, and fleeced its newly acquired ally in trouble. An "ally" like that knew no restraints. Rome had already sworn allegiance to Byzantium, and hated the whole world for its humiliation. Especially the Kipchaks who had sapped its erstwhile overwhelming power. Having lost in an open face-off, the Romans engaged in a secret war that went on for more than a century. They won the secret war in the end: they demonised the Turkis in the eyes of their descendants by portraying them as either inhumans, or savages, or nomads with "beastly table manners". Indeed, the Romans were masters of backstage play. What did they mean "beastly table manner"? Holding a spoon or fork that Turkis used while eating, assisting themselves with a small knife, which every Kipchak always carried in a sheath next to his dagger? As simple as that. Or washing their hands from a kumgan (jug) and wiping them against a towel before meals? Was it beastly, too? What was then the right way to eat? Europeans had never heard of a spoon or fork before they saw the "nomadic beasts". They used hands, which beasts certainly could not. Greek aristocrats, for example, kept Arab boys so they could wipe their greasy hands against the boys' coarse bushy hair after repasts. Beautiful had a different meaning to a European than it did to a Kipchak. The Byzantine Emperor Julian was a very handsome man, with a beard grey from crawling lice. His courtiers, or mistresses, were enraptured at his beard teeming with lice. And this made him immensely proud of it. Neither Romans nor Greeks knew the real steam bath. That was a Turkic invention. Incidentally, Slavs borrowed the word banya (steam bath) complete with its name from the Turkic: bu (steam) and ana (mother), literally "mother of steam". The famous Roman thermae (or public baths) were not a pleasure for all. A select few of the 300,000 Rome residents could afford a day in a "public bath". The Kipchaks had it differently - their baths were a daily must. The steppe, with its grime and dirt, taught them to keep themselves and their houses clean and tidy. A housewife would never start cooking before she swept the house clean. Clean houses and bodies were entrenched in the Turkic way of life - filth was a source of pestilence and diseases for steppe dwellers. Squalor was not tolerated. Every Kipchak washed in the morning and evening, and also before each meal and prayer. Turkis sincerely believed that while they slept their souls left their bodies to travel around the world socialising and return a brief moment before they awoke. If a returning soul saw you were unwashed it shied away in fear. (For much the same reason, lest the soul fail to recognize you in sleep, you were advised against covering your head with a blanket.) Kipchaks followed customs to the letter - they fully relied on popular experience and wisdom as a way to avoid repeating mistakes their predecessors could have made. Every single aspect of a custom had a clear meaning, without any trappings attached. Did you know that nail clipping was a ritual to be observed religiously? A Turki could then tell you that his strength (or huut) was under his nail in daytime and at his hair roots at night. Both were to be spotlessly clean. This point was repeatedly made clear to children. Much in Kipchaks' life was muddle to Europeans, so they engaged in guesswork and conjecture, inventing myths by way of explanation. What could people need wagons for? You won't answer unless you are dead certain. When, therefore, Roman spies first saw wagons Kipchak scouts were driving around in search of suitable sites, the only idea that could come to their minds was that the Kipchaks were

nomads, and they hastened to spread this news around the world. The Greeks, however, saw the other side of it, much farther than the wagons. Notes penned by a Byzantine nobleman, Priscus, have miraculously survived to tell the truth about the Great Migration of the Peoples, about Attila, and the more personal aspects of Kipchaks' lives. The notes were spared the destruction suffered by all such documents at the hands of the Romans over centuries. Priscus's notes contain valuable historical evidence because they come from a man who saw everything with his own eyes, and more, was a key actor in the drama played out in his lifetime. He was a member of Europe's embassy that travelled to see Attila and plead for peace with the wrathful Turkic ruler. Passions ran really high at the time. Europe Arose in the Altai Attila was feared by everybody. Mere mention of his name sent creeps down the spines of Europe's rulers. And rightly so, for Attila had a half million horsemen behind his back. An awesome power. A well-trained and strong army…. To be exactly that, this multitude of armed men was to be organised, disciplined, and manageable. It was to have a long fighting record and longstanding traditions. And a high fighting spirit besides. But that was still not enough. Armed men can be banded together fast enough, but moulding them into a real fighting force could take more than a single generation of recruits. In actual fact, an army is a crosssection of society - a reflection of all that is good in a nation's culture, economy, and, not least, national set-up. An army does not arise out of thin air - it is nurtured and cultivated for generations. Raising a viable army is all hard work deserving high praise, for it creates an army protecting its people and defending its country's security. A nation without an army lacks identity and is doomed to be brought to its knees and become a source of slaves to serve other people. Do I need to repeat these old truths? I have another point to make. It is that we have evidence to show that what Attila mustered under him was not a rabble of semi-savage tribes preying on Europe's backyard, as we read in so many history books. The Turkis had an excellent army that had proved its worth in China, Iran, on the Don and even at Rome's walls. There was no force to challenge it in the world. The army was broken down into forces, or tmas, each ten thousand horsemen strong. In turn, the forces were divided up into regiments and companies of a hundred troops. The latter, in turn, were recruited from members of a particular tribe living in a yurt or ulus. It was led by a khan, the head of the yurt or ulus, who had appointed assistants, atamans. A force was named for its khan or its native yurt. That was an ancient Altaic tradition first recorded at the time of Turkic settlement in India. One of Attila's forces was named Burgund, a second was Savoia, a third Tering, and so on. Each force had a battle banner that gave it a name, fighting fame and respect. Attila had fifty forces in all, including those raised in the Yaik, Ural, Don and a few other yurts, later additions to the Turkic state. All soldiers were Turkis speaking a common language, Turkic. No other tongues were tolerated in the army of Desht-i-Kipchak for the simple reason that it had enough recruits of Turkic roots. True, some Alans served as auxiliaries, and occasionally joined cavalry troops they were too good fighters to be rejected. The Byzantine army was the exact opposite. Turkic, the "soldiery" language, was spoken among the troops, the greater part of which was made up of Kipchaks, who also accounted for a large share of the empire's population. The

pure-blooded Greeks were, therefore, compelled to learn Turkic. Roman spies were puzzled on hearing the names of Attila's forces - Terings, Burgundi, Langobardi, and so on. They had never heard those names. So they put their trust in the force of precedent. Roman rulers used to draft men of the lands they conquered into their legions. Why, they reasoned, could not other races be in the Kipchak army? Hence the "rabble", a label stuck by scholars, yes, we have to admit this with regret, to Attila, his army and the Great Migration of the Peoples in general. And also such offensive names as Huns, Goths and barbarians. The Romans deliberately invented various insulting labels for the Kipchaks, for they were clearly reluctant to all their victors by their true name. From that time on, the Kipchaks were only referred to as "rabble", "confederation of tribes", or "Huns" assembled by Attila. In reality, however, the things were completely different. Byzantine chronicles for 438 and 439, for example, reported literally the following about the Huns and other "races" in Attila's army: except for their names, they did not differ from one another; they spoke a common language and worshipped a single god, Tengri. Some other chronicles reported that the Huns descended from the Goths. A line from a 572 document reads: "Meanwhile the Huns, whom we normally call Turkis…" These are facts to be reckoned with. We certainly have more trust in documents written in the age of the Great Migration of the Peoples than we do in politically biased historians. Like those who thought up a myth about "Germanic tribes" allegedly brought together by Attila. One lie, we know, always leads to another. Were there ever "Germanic tribes" in the first place? Those tribes came from the East as part of the Kipchak army. They were yurt forces that trace their origins back to the Altai. I will now attempt to reconstruct the long-forgotten facts, now turned into a political realm where no one can tie the loose ends. It certainly needs a profound historical investigation. The Kipchaks called their western lands in Central Europe Alman ("distant" or "farthest" in Turkic - really they lay a great distance from the Altai). Today, too, many peoples say Alman when they refer to Germany. The Alps appear to derive their name from the Turkic word alp, which means "hero" or "victor". Before the arrival of the Kipchaks Central Europe was the ancient habitat of Frankish, Veneti, Teutonic and other tribes. The Roman historian, Cornelius Tacitus, who lived in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, left very detailed accounts of them. Nor were they passed up by other historians, who all agreed that those tribes could not be molded into a first-rate army. Those were primitive people, who wore animal skins and had wooden javelins and clubs for their best battle weapons. Bronze swords and spears were extremely rare among them. Tacitus' accounts are reinforced by archaeology. Could they be the "Germanic" tribes that threw a challenge to Rome? Burgundi (Burgundians), the iron horsemen, were another matter. This "Germanic" tribe came to Europe from the shores of Lake Baikal, where they had their tribal yurt (land). The modern Irkutsk Region in East Siberia has an area called Burgundu, where this tribe used to live in the distant past. The archaeologists' finds in the Ancient Altai leave no doubt about that. In those ancient times the Burgundians used runic lettering and were very much a part of Turkic culture. It would take many pages to attempt to tell about those roots. The real, not imagined, roots of that "Germanic" tribe. By the time Attila began his reign in 435, the Kipchak army had reached the centre of Europe and created a Burgund yurt, or Burgundy. We know that with certainty. The Burgundians spoke Turkic and used runes in writing, as you can learn in the museums of, yes, modern Burgundy itself. A few exhibits are more convincing than a myriad of words. The

Burgundians were Turkic through and through - ornaments, household chattels, national cuisine, even their visage. There is no arguing about that. Available evidence is convincing enough, at least for those who wish to know the truth. Burgundy was created by the Kipchaks and has not changed its name for the past fifteen hundred years. Migrants always and everywhere seem to have a strange habit of giving the names of their native place to cities they build in the new lands. Really, it is an ingrained tradition no one stops to think about whys and wherefores. Not a seasoned ethnographer, however. Europeans settling in America or Australia, for example, did not ponder much about place names - they just popped out of their mouths: New York, New England, New Plymouth, St. Petersburg or Moscow (both in the United States) and so on. Examples are indeed plentiful. You certainly expect my new question: Did not the Turkis stand at the origins of this tradition? So we still have a yurt by the name of Tulun (Tolun) in the Altai, Tolu (Tula) in Central Russia, or Toulouse in France. They were all founded by Attila's contemporaries and all were inhabited mostly by arms makers. Toulouse, for example, was the capital city of the West European Kipchaks (Visigoths) between 419 and 508. Taken all together, these cities are merely road markers in the history of the Great Migration of the Peoples, and their names are derived from the same Turkic word, tolum, for arms. Did modern Europe actually begin in Siberia? Was it Siberia that breathed a new life into stagnating Europe? Why not? The bulk of the continent's population originated in the Ancient Altai, even though it is known, through the Roman politicians' efforts, as "Germanic tribes". Another tribe, Terings (Thuringians) fought side by side with Burgundians in Attila's army. They, too, had come from the Altai, from a tribal yurt that is today an area bearing the old name. It has survived through centuries. Tering is the Turkic for deep or profound. The name travelled across half of the world in the Turkis' wagons, leaving numerous marks on the modern geographical map. The Turings' yurt was established in Europe at the same time as the Burgund yurt. Today it is Thuringia, a German Land, famous, until recently, for its racing horses, fine koumiss, and deliciously smelling yogurt. The ancient Turkic trades live on in our day. Or take Turin in Northern Italy. The Turings were certainly here, and the city's history is closely bound up with the Great Migration of the Peoples, with the Savoia ulus. Please take a special note that about every ancient settlement in Northern Italy has a Turkic history, in one way or another: Kipchaks made up a large part of the local population. Venice, for example, has a Turkic square, an old place in an old city. The city owes its lasting fame to Turkic-speaking Kipchaks (Langobardi or Langobards), who transformed an inconspicuous coastal settlement into a great sea power. The Kipchaks brought Altaic larch logs over here to build the foundations that still support the old city. Whenever we speak out about the history of Europe, we will do well remembering the Great Migration of the Peoples. Many more things are cross-linked in our lives than we can ever suspect. Saxony, Bavaria, Savoy, Catalonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Czechia, Poland, Hungary, Austria, England, Lithuania, Latvia (too many names to continue) were all founded by the Kipchaks. These countries were started by Attila. He had led the spearhead of his nation to Europe and established himself at the foot of the Alps, Europe's majestic mountains very much like the Altai. The mountains were named Attila's Alps, or Otztaler Alps today (Otztal is the Turkic leader's name distorted by the Europeans). The Turkis gave the Carpathian and Balkan mountains the name we know them by today. Balkan in Turkic means, literally, "a mountain overgrown with a forest". Not a coniferous, but exactly the deciduous forest of the kind this part of Southern Europe is famous for. Previously, its name was Hem or Em, a derivation from Hemimont (Ancient Hemus).

The Carpathians have an unmistakably Turkic word root, which means "overflowing" or "spilling over". Indeed, the area is notoriously known for its devastating floods. A more precise name would be hard to find, in Turkic at least. Before the arrival of the Turkis, the Europeans called the area the Sarmatian Mountains. Attila, the Turkic Ruler Deception is just as a part of human nature as any other. It is a skill and craft, no matter how reprehensible. Romans were unsurpassed masters of this craft. They seemed to have no end of lies to invent to hide the truth about the Turkic people, blot out memories about it and, in this way, account for their own weaknesses and failures. The legend about the Martian Sword is a good illustration of this. The sword was considered a symbol of divine choice in Europe. Attila was told about the sword by a cowherd. The man saw a heifer in his herd limping. Extremely worried, he walked back along the blood-spattered trail, only to find a sword sticking out of the ground. He pulled it out and gave it to Attila as a gift. An innocent tale, it seems? Not exactly. It emerged soon after Attila's resounding victory in 443 and was intended to vindicate the Romans for their defeats. The magic sword had little to do with their setbacks. Yet it alone, a chance that could not have been, remains in the memory as the chief reason for the Kipchaks' successes rather than the real reasons such as a powerful army, fearless warriors, iron weapons, heavy bows and arrows, the craftsmen and metal makers who forged the world's best arms at the time in cities and encampments back in the Turkic hinterland. The true reasons have either been forgotten or distorted. Regret as we do, there are too many malicious legends like this one. Actually, they were placed at the foundations on which the Turkic people's history was built. A hint here, an omission there make together a brazen lie, with only a few grains of truth left over. In 434 Attila became a joint ruler, together with his elder brother Bleda, of Desht-iKipchak, an immense state whose government organisation was so much admired by the Chinese (volumes were written about it). It was not, therefore, a "loose confederation" of tribes, of which Attila was made the nominal ruler, but a close-knit country known to much of the world. Attila was very young when he became a co-ruler. He and Bleda ruled wisely and successfully for a time. Peace and accord between the ruling brothers was not to the liking of either Byzantium or Rome, which worked hard to set the brothers against each other, so their quarrel could drain the Turkic state of vitality and unity to be dealt with easily by the two Western powers. Fearing a head-on confrontation they could lose, the enemies opted for scheming poisoning, bribing, turning one brother against the other, deceiving, killing secretly. Cowardly devices as they were, Attila was forced to watch out for hostile moves from the early days of his rule. The brothers survived several assassination attempts. Thank Tengri, poisoned arrows missed their targets and poison was made harmless by antidote. In that secret war the Turkis proved the stronger as well. Attila was nicknamed the Scourge of God. No matter how much his enemies plotted and fumed in impotent rage, they were unable to kill him. The young rulers were too wise for them to be disposed of in this way. Attila began his rule in a peaceful disposition, without a thought of war. He was born like that. All strong and self-assured people are. Meeting the emperor of the Western Roman Empire at the city of Margus (Pozarevac) in the Balkans, he announced the terms for peace and demanded from Rome payment of three hundred kilograms of gold in annual subsidies.

The Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire was paying an equal amount. Rome had no choice but agree. It was ready to pay any price to avoid war. Having signed the treaty, Attila set to expanding his possessions in Northern Europe in 435. He and Bleda led their armies to the shores of the Baltic, founding many cities along their trail in the modern Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. With a foothold won in Northern Europe, the brothers travelled back to the Turkic heartland on the Idel, Don and Yaik rivers, in the Caucasus and the Altai. In a country as big as Desht-iKipchak the brothers had their hands full. (The brothers' visits were echoed in folklore - in fact, Attila is highly revered by all European nations with Turkic roots.) Rome and Byzantium were scared of their neighbour's growing strength. Apprehensive as they were, they could not interfere with the brothers' plans. Finally, they found a helpful tool Christians, who alone were the Turkis' long-standing allies and kept up contacts with their rulers and clergy. A germ of discord was sneaked into Desht-i-Kipchak. Christians were completely unaware that they were puppets with strings pulled by Western politicians, who turned religion to their advantage. Infection crept into Kipchaks' ranks, slowly and unnoticed. Envy, gossip and slander seemed to appear from nowhere. Like rust corrodes iron, so were they - deadly and unfailing. The whole thing was rigged up with skilful hands. Gloating about the recurring quarrels between the ruling brothers, Byzantium stopped paying subsidies to the Kipchaks. Attila was quick in seeing through the Greeks' design. He made up with his brother and in 441 unleashed his full fury against the offender. His horsemen quickly brought the Greeks to their senses. Their message was clear - their treaty with the Kipchaks was to be kept in full and in time. Like a wave of fire, the Kipchak cavalry swept the Byzantine Empire's northern territories. Retribution was quick and unavoidable. Cities were plunged into darkness - flattened to lifeless ruins. The Byzantine emperor lost his head in despair - he pleaded for an armistice and peace at any price. Taking the emperor on his word, Attila pulled his army out of the Balkans. After a year-long respite, the Greeks seemed to have not learned the lesson. They resumed scheming, with Roman and Greek Christians as their docile tools in spreading gossip and discord. The Greeks clearly needed a repeat lesson and they got it. This time Attila was rockfirm. He crushed the Byzantine army, giving it no chance of escape. It was certainly a fratricidal battle. The foederati, who were Kipchaks in Byzantine service and converted to Christianity, were pitted against their brethren, the followers of Tengri and had to pay a heavy price for that. Attila came to within striking distance of Constantinople. The Byzantine capital was at his mercy. The Kipchaks did not attempt an assault on it. They had no need for it, like they did not for the whole of the empire. As a matter of record, the Turkis did not conquer a single country or nation over the centuries of the Great Migration of the Peoples. They were content with settling on non-man's lands, which they developed and built up. Attila did not have to wait for long at Constantinople. The Greeks promptly paid up the arrears in subsidies - almost two and a half tons of gold. The Kipchaks named a new price for future and withdrew. With road dust still unsettled in their wake, the Greeks were up to their old tricks again. Surely, they were very poor learners. And once again, their tools were Christians, charming beauties, and expensive presents, but patience in weaving their plot was their main asset. This time they took no risks. The quarrel between the ruling brothers was ended with a stab of the dagger.

Alone on the throne, Attila avenged the death of his brother, taking out his wrath on the enemy for the rigged-up clash. Soon, the sole ruler could use fork and knife at meals again (it is a Turkic tradition to refrain from using fork and knife in a family that has not avenged the death of its member). Unfortunately, almost nothing is known about Attila's next campaign against the Byzantine Empire in 447 and 448. We only know that the empire suffered a heavy damage - its cities were all wiped off the face of the earth. How did the war go on? What battles were fought where? All evidence has been obliterated. Resigned to their utter defeat, the Greeks withdrew from the Northern Balkans, leaving them to the Turkis. The southern border of Desht-i-Kipchak moved very close to the Mediterranean and Constantinople. The Turkis as Priscus of Byzantium Saw Them By 449 the storm seemed to have subsided in Europe. Attila calmed down, becoming his merciful self again. With no time lost, a delegation led by a Byzantine nobleman, Priscus, headed straight for his headquarters to plead for peace - peace at any price. "After crossing some rivers," Priscus wrote in his narrative, "we arrived in a large village where Attila's palace was situated." Priscus does not give the name of the village. It was probably Preslav, the capital of ancient Bulgaria, or an old town in Bavaria. Whatever it was, it was a new Turkic town in the centre of Europe that arose with the coming of the Turkis. The Greek emissary was dazed at the sight. A town of this type did not exist anywhere in Europe. Priscus was particularly overwhelmed by Attila's palace. Built of logs and decorated with carved window casings, it gave the impression of soaring above the ground. It shone in the sun, its rays reflected in the fine craftwork of the building. Its pointed spires were thrust high into the sky. Next to the king's palace stood the house of the queen, Kreka. A smaller building, it looked more beautiful as though made of wooden lace. Its carved designs gave it a fairy-tale image. A house spun out of sun rays. The ruler's residence was encircled with a high enclosure adorned with dainty watchtowers. Priscus stood there, transfixed by the sight of an unparalleled wooden wonder. He was lost for words. He was all numb admiration. The dazed Greek entering the palace wondered how logs could be placed to make a building look round. Actually, it was anything but round, as it appeared to Priscus. The building was octagonal, in the Turkic tradition originating in the Ancient Altai, from the early smoke huts. The tower house was really a smoke hut - much higher and built somewhat differently, though. "The floor of the room was covered with woollen mats for walking on," wrote Priscus. Exactly. Kipchaks always put felt rugs or mats on the floor of their houses, following the ancient tradition. The inquisitive Greek noted every small detail - what the Kipchaks did, how they dressed and what meals they ate. Nothing escaped his eye, the eye of an experienced spy (what Priscus actually was). They wouldn't have sent a simpleton on that sensitive mission. Priscus was awed by the beauty of Turkic women, their elegant and simple attire, especially the kerchiefs (or rather shawls) with their long-stranded tassel fringes. Kipchak women wore white shawls to church and on days of mourning, and multi-coloured ones, on holidays and ordinary days. The emissary's report appears so clear that it only needs plain reading. Not quite so in fact.

Take the tower house, where Queen Kreka lived and which Priscus first saw in the Kipchaks' capital. Now it is called a Greek house, suggesting that the tower house was invented by the Greeks. Invention of felt is now ascribed to the French. Shawls were first made by someone else, and so on. All these, and many other things are a legacy of the Turkic nation built up over centuries. In real fact, all these ordinary things made Kipchak culture distinct in the European environment. They gave a face to a nation, making it recognizable and unlike other nations. And what are the Kipchaks doing? How do they take these crude distortions of their history? With serene calm. Many centuries past they have remained Turkic at heart. Magnanimous and forgiving. Loathe to take immediate action and prone to leave things to be done on another day. It is knowing long in advance that the truth will eventually win out. Take them as they are. Doesn't it strike you that after so many attempts to poison him, Attila asked Priscus to share a meal with him? No, it was not an outburst of magnanimity or generosity. It was only customary Turkic hospitality - refusing to receive guests was an unpardonable act for a Kipchak. With Priscus in his house, Attila could not sit down to a meal without asking the Greek to join him. Skilful politicians, then and now, have always abused the Turkis' openness, decency and hospitality in an attempt to gain an advantage over them. The unsuspecting and credulous Turkis lightly revealed their weaknesses and exposed themselves to hazards - all to the detriment of Desht-i-Kipchak. There is no one to be blamed for that - they are made this way as a nation. And no one can change them, no matter how hard he may try. They have it in their genes. The Great Migration of the Peoples gave Turkis a good chance to change or scrap some of their very ancient traditions - Europe was a different environment, an alien culture and strange moral values. They did not, or did not even try. Their khans' short-sightedness cost the Kipchaks dearly. When in Rome do as the Romans do, ran the old wisdom. The Kipchaks failed in their efforts to force Europe to live their way. Instead, they were overwhelmed by the forces at work in their new home. … Back to Attila's feast room. It smelled of fresh wood. Broad benches were ranged along the walls. Heavy oak tables stood next to them. Attila sat at the head of his table. That was his place of honour (throne), tver in Turkic. It was screened with fine motley curtains. His elder son, Ellak, sat nearby on a step, his eyes lowered. Ellak did not touch any food, keen as always to do his father a service. Waiting on your father is a son's noble duty. It was a law, and inborn tradition, with the Kipchaks. Obeying a senior was indisputable, as also was a senior's duty, enshrined in the adat (code of honour), to protect a junior. The Kipchaks had an elaborate ritual to be followed at the table and around house. Before sitting down at the table, Priscus went on, they "said a prayer to God". The prayer was led by Father Orestes, an enigmatic personage in Europe's history. The prayer said, all sat down to meal. Father Orestes knew many European languages and, in fact, was a bright star of his time. He was a man of wondrous destiny. There are two theories about who he actually was. One says that he was Attila's confessor, according to the other he was the Turkic ruler's secretary and interpreter. He was born in Desht-i-Kipchak (more exactly, in modern Austria or Hungary). Was he a Kipchak? There is no evidence to the contrary, save that Roman historians claimed he was of Roman stock. Could Attila tolerate a foreigner as so close a counsel of his? Would he confide his thoughts and feelings to him? Would he send the priest as his ambassador to Constantinople? Never on earth. The confessor is a very close friend, confidant and mentor.

Curiously, Father Orestes, like many of Attila's courtiers, made a brilliant career in Rome after their king's death. They were not the first Kipchaks to be accepted into the Roman fold many Turkis had for some time already served at the imperial court and in the army and clergy. It was a dusky time, a time of plots, coups and treacherous murders - Roman society was in turmoil, inviting Kipchaks in desperation. Everybody who was somebody was looking for a snug place in society. Rome saw a replay of the Byzantine scenario with the coming of Kipchaks - cultures and races intermingled freely, until the Kipchaks made an attempt to seize power. The coup was led by the selfsame Father Orestes, now a Roman general and master of foederati soldiers. He put his little son, a very handsome child, Romulus, on the throne, adding a diminutive Augustulus to his name because of his young age. Born a Kipchak, Romulus Augustulus was the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire. On September 5, 476, he was deposed by another Kipchak, Odoacer, who formally put an end to the Western Roman Empire. The Kipchaks, who had argued too much over succession to the Roman throne, ended up without it. The destiny of the last Roman emperor's father, Orestes, took another, and quite unexpected, twist. According to the other theory, the Romans made him a Christian in 511, or thirty-five years after his death, and canonised him as St. Severin ("The Life of St. Severin" is a large volume full of discrepancies). Priscus's notes give a clear-headed person much, really overly much, food for thought. The events he described do not fit into the narrow confines of "official" history. How the meals proceeded at Attila's palace, what they drank, what they conversed about, whom they made a ridicule of, who wore what at meal - the Greek ambassador's account was fairly correct. As custom dictated, the meal ended with singing. The kind of singing that reaches deep into your heart, intoxicating you more than wine does. Singing was as much part of a Turki in the 5th century as it had been before and was to remain later. It goes with nature, like language. It persists in history. Musicians filed into the feast hall and immediately broke into an ecstatic melody, their hands dancing on the strings and their fiddles flying up and down. Priscus sat frozen to his seat. He heard music. Wonderful music. And strange instruments, the like of which the Greeks had never seen. (Those were the granddads and grandmas of the modern cello, violin, harp, balalaika and harmonica). A jester stepped out from behind the music band. His follies made the revellers double over with laughter. Attila was laughing off his head together with everybody else. Was it a desire to mimic the great Attila that European kings and rulers eventually took to keeping jesters at court to amuse and entertain guests at balls and speak out the truth in their sovereigns' face with impunity? Moreover, jesters were a visible fixture at royal houses having Turkic roots only. Scots and Romans, for example, had no tradition of keeping jesters. And more, Priscus was struck by Attila's modesty. Clearly, his life-style was anything but royal. The clothing that great man wore and the food he ate were no different from those of the men around him. What made him out of the crowd was the admiring eyes all turned on the hero. He was revered immensely for what he was and what he did. Attila's courage and wisdom left no one unimpressed. For example, he was unmatched in game hunting. He used to hunt on horseback. Chasing wild boars, deer or bears, he wore his prey down and then finished it off with a blow of his mace or a stab of his poleax on the gallop. Falcon hunting was his tender love. Indeed, falconry had a special place at Attila's court, with falconers to look after these birds of prey, breed them and train for hunting. They also kept kites, but did not take them out hunting - these small-size hawks have too strong an

instinct to ravage their kills before the hunter can retrieve them intact. Bear teasing was another favourite pastime with the Kipchaks. Some daredevils caught bears alive in the forest and brought them to Attila's capital in cages. Bear-fights were held in deep by the Turkis. A bear-fight followed approximately this scenario. A wild bear was let into a pen, and a brave soul with a bear spear or knife in hand stepped into the enclosure to the tumultuous shouts of the fans. The beast sensed his near end, but was unable to escape. After tossing and turning for a while, it lost patience and - the onlookers gasped in suspense - violently attacked his nemesis. The fighter, ready for the dash, sank his knife hilt-deep into the beast's heart. The audience exploded into wild applause. Or take belt wrestling, another way to show off gallantry for a Turki. It was actually a national play, very much in evidence on a feast day. The winner was rewarded with a ram another ancient tradition. Finally, fistfights. A nice amusement it was. Neither rivalry nor sport. A sacred ritual that was in a Turki's blood. Every man could take a chance to test his mettle. Kipchaks were raised on fisticuffs from early childhood, toughening themselves in court or street fights. Quarrels were settled by challenging the offender to a fight. A face to face bout. Fist law had a special place in Kipchak society. It was respected and feared. It was enforced one on one or group against group. Fighting went on until first blood was drawn. It was a rule that was rigorously asserted. A breach of this rule could invite trouble, and even death on the spot for the offender. Relatives were not allowed to avenge the deserved death. The Kipchaks enjoyed life in many ways and had many feasts to prove it. After a victorious military campaign they indulged in a favourite play - with long curved sticks instead of sabres in their hands, mounted players were driving an enemy's head tied in a leather bag around a field. Really, an exalted celebration of victory. This savage play has survived to this day, and now it is called polo. (The English are its most ardent advocates, because their ancestors migrated to the British Isles together with Attila.) True, they don't cut off anyone's head to divert themselves, they use a wooden ball instead. They follow the ancient rules of the game, however. Like nations, traditions do not die. Memories do. Battling with Europe's United Army Attila was playing deliberately cool with Priscus's embassy. He made it a point to have each of his moves or gestures show how disgusted he was. Disgusted at the deception all around him. The great Kipchak knew politics was lying as best you can. For all that, he could not reconcile himself to this reprehensible practice that was a norm in Europe. His guts revolted against it. He lived by different rules and professed a different political culture. His moral standards were different, too. Every Kipchak grew up convinced that deception could not make man rich or bring anything but shame upon his head. As he talked to the embassy Attila knew that the Christian envoys were luring away his best troops, unashamedly and impudently. He ordered lists of the defectors to be drawn up and demanded from the Europeans that the traitors be turned over. The Europeans, however, denied any wrongdoing, with a hypocritical smile. The Kipchak king did not know much about negotiating skills. He was too upright to dally with politics. Attila said everything to the ambassadors' face. They took it for his weakness and made fun of him. Actually, there was nothing much to talk about. Nothing could be clearer. The Europeans were weaning away his troops, his best military commanders. Attila was certainly resentful.

But that was only half the trouble. The other half was that the defectors were fated to leave him, no matter how hard he tried to prevent their desertion. Nothing could - order, execution or fear - go against human nature, and the way communities shed surplus numbers. How do they do it, no one knows - it is an ethnographic mystery yet to be resolved. As a general rule, talents abandon their home countries, not because of a higher pay, but because they want power, prestige and career advancement. The power and careers they have long lost hope of getting at home. The Kipchaks hated Rome and made no secret of it. And yet they walked away lightly to serve a country not their own. Probably, they had their reasons and motivations. One defector, for example, wrote bluntly that he wanted to erase the name Roman from the world's memory and rebuild the Roman Empire as a Kipchak Empire. He noted sadly, however, that the Turkis had very bad laws. "I made up my mind then that I would rather labour to revive Rome's glory - which will never pass," by Turkic hands, he concluded. This tragedy - indeed, tragedy is the right word - haunted the Kipchaks. Population growth was detrimental to them. There were too many of them, even for the enormous Desht-iKipchak, which was bursting at the seams. The place became too crowded for its talented sons to fulfil their potential and to prosper. A tribe cannot have a hundred wizards or a thousand brilliant military commanders. Even if it does, their talent would be wasted in idleness. One truly wise counsel and one military commander of genius would do (a duo or trio would, but, God forbid, not a hundred or a thousand). It is like a hundred great poets - they would tire the listeners to death with their great verse. A surplus of talents that are unaccounted for is just as damaging to society as their shortage. This was a situation that the Kipchaks landed in under Attila. On the other extreme, the Romans and Greeks were starved of talent. Europe steeped in heathenism had long sunken hopelessly into senility and was desperately in need of a fresh blood transfusion to give it a new lease of life. Therefore, they welcomed defectors from Attila with open arms, giving them all comforts of life, often at the sacrifice of their own. Even humiliations, such as, for example, Rome's conversion to Greek Christianity in 380 on the Kipchaks' urging. Really, it was an act of desperation, as they knew the Kipchaks to be the Christians' allies. That was their only chance to have a foot in the Turkic world. The Kipchaks - those simple-hearted darlings of Fate - seemed to be engrossed by their own greatness and be only living for a day, oblivious of the world around them. One day or another, the defectors from Desht-i-Kipchak were to show that they had Kipchak blood flowing in their veins. First, they betrayed to the Romans an ancient Turkic custom (atalyk) of giving one's children into the care of other families. The Romans hastened to send Aetius, a scion of a celebrated Roman family, to Attila. Attila received Aetius like a younger brother of his and taught him everything he knew, as custom dictated. When time came for Aetius to go back home, he returned a wise and learned man. He went on to become a general and then commander of the Roman army. No one in the whole of the Western Empire knew the Kipchaks better than Aetius (a disciple of Attila himself). Now, Aetius started scheming, without sparing himself, to set Turkic rulers against one another and slander one in the eyes of another, lure the Kipchaks to his side and coax military commanders, clergy and ordinary people. He gave them good land and rich estates, titles and offices. He did all this because he discerned the talent tragedy of the Turkic nation before they could themselves. Aetius found a soft spot and was now pressing on it to give Rome an advantage. He pitted Kipchaks against Kipchaks on the battlefield. Who indeed was Aetius? He behaved too self-assuredly in the company of Kipchaks, like one of them. Little surprise, though. His father, a Turki by the name of Gaudentius, was

magister equitum, "master" of the Roman cavalry, and his mother, Itala, was a born Roman, a "noble and rich woman", as contemporaries wrote about her. An evil genius was born of their marriage. Gaul (modern France) was, through Aetius's strenuous efforts, a real kingdom of defectors. It was settled by thousands of Kipchak families, and everything in the land bore a Turkic imprint. Even the name of its capital, Toulouse, which is a common Turkic word. Those were the traitors Attila wanted Priscus's embassy to turn over to him, little aware that you cannot turn a river back to its source. His was a demand that nobody could fulfil. Attila persisted, citing hundreds of names - in Toulouse (Tolosa) and other cities hiding the fugitives, but all in vain. The Kipchaks had a wonderful intelligence service. Their agents reported, for example, that the Gaul city of Aurelianum was renamed Orleans, which sounded more Turkic. (Place renaming is inevitable as migrants or settlers pronounce local names their own way to get them sound familiar.) Priscus and his companions denied everything Attila accused them of, even the appearance of Turkic cities in Gaul. Having run out of arguments in getting his way, Attila told the liars to get out and away. Meanwhile the situation was rapidly turning against the Kipchaks, their enemies playing for time so Aetius could gather a large army from around Europe and strike a surprise blow. They miscalculated, however. Attila struck first, invading Gaul and heading straight for Toulouse and Orleans. The cities felt so secure against surprises that no preparations had been made to stand up to Attila. At the first sight of cross-spangled banners and cavalry the settlers, and the whole of Gaul, lost sleep in anticipation of judgement. The traitors were put to trial that was short and just. No one even moved to oppose it. The fugitives knew that treason was the most heinous crime for a Kipchak - he could atone any crime or offense but treason and cowardice. They were left no chance, but a few minutes of repentance. As Attila was meting out punishment in Orleans, his scouts reported that the Roman army had marched out to attack him. Aetius was on a war-path. Attila was suddenly assailed by dim forebodings. He had long been tormented by suspicions of deceit, and now he turned to a fortune-teller. A ram was slaughtered by tradition. When the fortune-teller looked at the ram's blade, he recoiled in terror and predicted disaster. (Not improbably, the fortune-teller, too, had been bribed by Rome.) Victory had been given away to Aetius even before the battle began. It was a psychological victory - seeds of doubt had been planted in Attila's mind. That was all Aetius had achieved. His joy was premature. He had manoeuvred his troops to the Catalaunian Fields, a famous plain in Champagne, inviting Attila to battle there. It was clearly a rash move. True, the terrain was not what you could call cavalry-friendly. Attila, though, accepted the unfavourable terms. Probably, he did this deliberately to mislead the enemy. Grim forebodings attacked him again. It suddenly appeared to him that the terms of battle had been imposed on him, and even though he had been reluctant to accept them, he succumbed to his fate, accepting them. Tormented by doubts, Attila would now and again raise his eye to the sky, peering into the deep blue, as though looking for a sign from the Heaven. But no sign came down. The night before the battle passed calm and quiet. At the first glimmer of dawn, battle lines were drawn, but Attila continued to be torn by doubts. Finally, he said: "Retreat is worse than death [in battle]." Worn down by doubts, he made his steps towards his horse. The sun stood at near noon.

Spurred on by their battle-cries, the Kipchak cavalry galloped into attack. Tutored by Attila himself, Aetius had anticipated it. The attack petered out. The Turkic horsemen fell back. The bitter taste of failure returned Attila to his usual composure. Praise Tengri, he won the battle over himself at the moment. He rode up to his troops to address them with words he knew would carry his message. His pure and lucid mind begot fine and honest words that sounded as clear as the swoosh of a flashing sabre. Their commander's words heated up the Kipchaks' hearts. "Defence is a sign of fear…. Brave is he who strikes first…. Revenge is a great gift of nature…. He who strives to victory is protected against arrows…. He who whiles away time while Attila fights is dead already." Those were the last words of his brief address. "Saryn k'ochchak" (Glory to the brave), boomed the great Kipchak and crossed his troops with his sabre. His voice was drowned in a roaring Hurrah, which is "Kill" or "Get 'em" in Turkic. In a moment the opposing armies were entangled in a deadly battle. A bright light of victory suddenly flared for the Kipchaks over the Catalaunian Fields. The sun danced in the flashing Turkic sabres. This time, the battle against Europe's united army took a serious turn. Tengri's warriors returned to their camp late in the night, tired and beaming with delight. In the morning Attila magnanimously looked on as Aetius's army was pulling out of the battlefield, half-finished and drained of will to fight on. A generous gesture the enemy did not deserve, though, which the thrashed Romans mistook for a weakness. They, or rather their historians, ticked as a point won against Attila in the battle on the Catalaunian Fields. That was the price of pity shown on the battlefield. Attila was, of course, little aware of what was to happen centuries later. He led his army against Rome, razing to the ground North Italian cities inhabited by Turkis. Milan, another safe haven for fugitive Kipchaks, suffered most. Before long, Attila camped within a few days' march from Rome. The Kipchak "losers" strong and proud under their unfurled banners - were threatening Rome. The Empire's elite, with Pope Leo at the head, rode all the way up to see Attila. They pleaded with him to spare them and their city. They certainly played safe, knowing about the Kipchaks' compassion, kindness and lenience. The pope knelt in prayer in front of Attila. This scene is immortalised in Raphael's painting, which is on display in the Vatican City. It was not the opponents' entreaties that halted the Kipchaks' advance. Not even the lie that pestilence was raging in Italy. It was actually the cross that the Roman pontiff raised above his head. It was Tengri's cross. The Kipchaks took it for the will of Heaven. Rome hoisted the Turkic sacred symbol aloft, as a gesture of submission to the power of Desht-i-Kipchak. The war was over. Attila turned his horse around and headed back home. The spectacle of a prostrated enemy never delighted him. Attila's Death He was outwitted, in the end. In a brazen and insidious way. A half-subdued enemy is dangerous because in his thirst for revenge he can go to great lengths and to every unthinkable crime. There is no moral barrier to stop him. When Attila saw Ildico, a beautiful girl no one knew where she had come from, he fell in love with her. Really, he was a man with a tender and passionate heart. Their wedding feast went on all night. In the morning his guards were alarmed when Attila failed to come out of his bedroom late into the day. They waited until noon. Everything was suspiciously quiet in the royal bedroom.

They broke the door and saw an appalling scene - their beloved king lay in a pool of blood and the girl sat statue-like near him. Was it an accident? Not the least bit. That night, the Byzantine Emperor Marcian in Constantinople saw Attila's broken bow in his dream. It was a sign of trouble. It happens, of course, that dreams come true sometimes. If we remember that the Greeks had attempted to poison Attila before, we would be reluctant to accept his death as an accident. A premeditated murder? Or what, if not that? The Kipchaks went mad with grief. Their king's death robbed them of will and determination. All cities and villages were in mourning. Women put on their white robes and unclasped their hair to hang loose. Their men, true to tradition, were cropping off locks of hair and making deep cuts in their cheeks. The invincible warrior was dead. His death was to be mourned with blood, not tears. A tent was pitched in the field for the king to lie in state. A select troop of cavalry was detailed to make circles around the tent all night as a tribute to the greatest of Turkis. After the blood-washed mourning, a sumptuous feast was celebrated at the tent. A savage, almost ghastly spectacle - funereal grief and unrestrained merriment going on side by side. A strange rite. The ruler departing for the other world was to see that the affluence he had assured for his subjects did not end with his departure. Life continued. Attila was buried in the dead of night. His body was placed into three coffins put into one another. The first coffin was made of gold, the second of silver and the third of iron. The king's weapons and decorations that he never wore in life were buried with him. Attila's burial place has never been found. Everybody involved in the funeral was killed. They all went calmly into the netherworld to serve their master. As mourning descended on Kipchak lands there was jubilation among the Romans and Greeks. They rejoiced at Attila's death and made no effort to conceal their glee. Their next objective was to set Attila's successors against one another and wait until the Kipchaks wore themselves out by infighting. Attila's eldest son, Ellak, was a legitimate heir to his father's throne. Ellak was slandered, however, and embittered. A long period of internecine strife followed. The Turkis appeared to have risen against themselves. Brother killed brother. Tribe fought tribe. It was a war waged by all against all (the grief made Kipchaks blind and robbed them of their senses). When Ellak was killed in battle, Roman politicians, preachers and legionaries knew what they could do next. Alienating and dividing, supporting the weak and harming the strong, and, above all, slandering and rumour-mongering. Slander was the tested weapon to fight the Turkis - they would do the rest themselves. The Great Migration of the Peoples came to a long period of mutual destruction: a nation of great numbers was killing itself. On the bottom line, however, all was not as bad for Turkic culture as it seemed. Rather, the end was unexpected and even paradoxical. By the late 5th century, the Turkis had populated half of Europe and all of Central Asia. Turkic was more frequent than any other language in Eurasia, and Turkis were the most populous nation in the world. True, they fought among themselves, worshiped different gods and professed different cultures. But, in any case, they all had their roots in the Altai and one, Turkic, blood flowing in their veins. No matter how different, that is a common heritage they are destined to share forever. And that was the chief product of the Great Migration of the Peoples. A single nation gave birth to scores of other nations. The New Desht-i-Kipchak

Like the Kushan Khanate before it, the giant Desht-i-Kipchak flew apart. Austrasia, Alemannia, Bavaria, Burgundy, Bohemia, and scores of other new Turkic states sprang up in Europe in the wake of its collapse. (With dozens more appearing in Asia.) Its fragments were scattered all across the bleeding land of Desht-i-Kipchak. Some Turkic lands styled themselves kingdoms living by Roman law. One of them was the Visigothic Kingdom in Spain. Still others were kaganates that remained faithful to Oriental culture. The kaganates were ruled by kagans, who were elected by khans from among the khans. According to whatever records survived, kagan elections were played out on approximately the following scenario. A would-be ruler was seated on a white rug and carried on shoulders around a temple or any other sacred place (nine times along the solar circle). A string was then thrown around the kagan elect's neck and tightened until the victim lost consciousness. The half-strangulated pretender was asked: "How long can you be the kagan?" That was the khans' way of setting the ruler's term of office. The election was rounded up with wholesale plunder of the newly elected kagan. The man was stripped of all property that could be carried off. That was a tradition, and it had a name, khan talau (plunder of the khan). The logic was that the khan was from now on provided for by the nation. (Curiously, khan talau survived though much of the Middle Ages in Europe, where Western church cellars, for example, were raided after election of a new pope.) Under another election scenario, the khans (the modern electoral college) took turns throwing up a sacred staff so it could land, its pointed end first, in a circle drawn on the ground. Who managed to pull off the trick best was made kagan (wasn't it Tengri who guided his staff?). A kagan was elected to rule the kaganate of Austrasia, a new Turkic state in Central Europe, at the end of the 5th century. It comprised lands lying farthest west of the Altai - modern France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, parts of Spain and Southern Germany, and Austria, where Turkis made up a sizable part of the population. Next, after and east of Austrasia, came the Avaria kaganate (Avar Empire) on lands occupied today by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, part of Germany, and Croatia. Here, too, lived the Turkis swept westward by the great waves of migration from the east. Another kaganate, Ukraine, took up most of the modern state of that name and part of Central Russia, up to the Moskva River. Greater Bulgaria, another Turkic kaganate, lay south of Ukraine, its wide arc skirting the western seaboard of the Black Sea, from modern Bulgaria, Romania, the Balkan countries, to parts of Southern Russia and Ukraine. These lands, too, were populated by Turkis who had migrated here from the Altai. The Khazar kaganate extended from the South Caucasus northward across the Don steppe. The kaganate of Bulgaria (simply Bulgaria) held lands on both banks of the Idel. Siberia was the name of the kaganate occupying the entire Altai steppe, from the Yaik River to Lake Baikal. Finally, Sakha was the easternmost Turkic land, a lone star in the North with an identity setting it apart from other lands. For all their different allegiances and names, they had a horseman, banner and equal-armed cross for their sovereign symbols, as they did in Attila's time. Their subjects prayed to Tengri and worshipped the Eternal Blue Sky over their heads. The rest of Europe addressed their prayer to crucified Christ, who was shown as a lamb in pictures and paintings. This significant difference between Turkic and non-Turkic lands, between Turkic and non-

Turkic cultures persisted far into the Middle Ages. *** The Great Migration of the Peoples left indelible tracks on the face of Eurasia. This map shows where and when Turkis, forced out of the Ancient Altai by the overpopulation pressure, settled over successive centuries. Left by the great nation, they will remain forever. We have tried to convey this message in this book. The art designer has reproduced museum exhibits here, without adding anything of his own. As we judge, the story of a nation can best be told by that nation and its culture only. List of Illustrations Page 9 Architecture of Old Europe. Vienna. Pages 10-11 Craftsmen in Ancient Egypt. Fragment of a relief (tracing). 3rd millennium BC. Bird. Applique on a felt rug. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds. The Altai. Bronze casting in Ancient Greece. Detail of a bowl (tracing). 6th century BC. Pages 12-13 Museum hall. Pieter Bruegel's painting "The Tower of Babel". 16th century. Vienna. Ancient Turkic runes on a stele. Approximately 3rd century BC. Minusinsk Depression in Khakassia, Southern Siberia. The same runes on the Great Elling Stone. 10th century. Denmark. Pages 14-15 Ancient Turkic faces: - A Kushan ruler. Earthenware. 1st or 2nd century. Khalchayan, Uzbekistan; - M.M. Gerasimov's reconstruction from a skull found in the Kenkol burial. 1st century. Kyrgyzstan; - Portrait of an unidentified person. Carved wood. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai; - Burial mask. Terracotta. Early 1st century. Uibat, Khakassia. Pages 16-17 Horse rider. Rock drawing. Approximately 1st millennium BC. Lena River bank, Sakha (Yakutia). Chinese picture of Ancient Turkis. A tattoo fragment. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Pages 18-19 Tattoo on a chieftain's body. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai.

Harness ornaments. Carved wood. 5th century BC. The Altai. Ancient Turkic runic alphabet. 1st millennium BC. Pages 20-21 Bridle ornament. Bronze. Approximately the 5th century BC. Seven Brothers mounds, North Caucasus steppe. Runic monument. Minusinsk Depression, Khakassia. Turkic warrior with a "screeching" banner. Fragment of an ancient painting (tracing). China. Pages 22-23 Ritual rock charm drawings. 2nd millennium BC. Minusinsk Depression, Khakassia. Pages 24-25 Ritual drawing of an elk female. Stone engraving. 3rd millennium BC. Angara River area, Southern Siberia. Tribal rock charm drawing. 2nd millennium BC. Minusinsk Depression, Khakassia. Spearhead inscribed with ancient Turkic runes. 4th century. Ukrainian steppe. The oldest stone tool found by Academician A.P. Okladnikov. 200,000 years BC. The Altai. Pages 26-27 Ancient stone sculpture. Charm griffin. Carved wood. 5th century BC. Bashadar mound, the Altai. Pages 28-29 King's pole-ax. Gold. Approximately the 5th century BC. Kelermes mound, North Caucasus steppe. Rooster totem, a tribal charm. Carved wood. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Sarcophagus with animal figures. Carved wood. 5th century BC. Bashadar mound, the Altai. Pages 30-31 Chart illustrating the design of a steppe mound. Stone stele. 2nd millennium BC. Minusinsk Depression, Khakassia. Pages 32-33 Bowl. Silver. 1st century. Ukrainian steppe. Map. A drawing of the Yenisei River by S.I. Remezov. Early 18th century. Pages 34-35

Ancient rock drawings and runic inscriptions. 1st millennium BC. Khakassia. Funeral stone in Pabon-Ha, Tibet. Pages 36-37 Spruce, the Tree of Life. Rock drawings. 1st millennium BC. Sagyr area, Eastern Kazakhstan. Deer. Carved wood. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Pages 38-39 The famous stone idols sculpted by the ancient Turkis. Spearhead. 4th century. Ukrainian steppe. Pages 40-41 Metal smelting furnace. Early 1st century. The Altai. Portrait of an ancient Turki. Embroidery. Early 1st century. Noinulin mounds, Northern Mongolia. Pages 42-43 One of the numerous representations of Gheser. Tibet. An iron meteorite. Museum collection in Vienna. Pages 44-45 Vase. Gold. 4th century BC. Kul-Oba mound, Ukraine. Pages 46-47 Detail of an ornament. Gold. 4th century BC. Tolstaya Mogila (Thick Grave) mound, Ukraine. Pages 48-49 Scenes of Turkis' life. Vase detail (tracing). 4th century BC. Kul-Oba mound, Ukraine. A horseman fighting foot warriors. Detail of a comb. Gold. 4th century BC. Solokha mound, Ukraine. Pages 50-51 Dragon, the Turkis' guardian, or bird griffin. Silk embroidery. Early 1st century. Noinulin mounds, Northern Mongolia. A warrior with a wolf standard (wolf-shaped banner). Carved bone. Orlatsky burial. Fantastic animal. A tattoo fragment. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Pages 52-53 Horse head ornament and saddle. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Stirrup. Khakassia.

Galloping horse. Fragment of an ancient low relief. Pages 54-55 Winged horse. Detail of an amphora. Silver, gilt. 4th century BC. Chertomlyk mound, Ukrainian steppe. Pages 56-57 Symbolic representation of Jargan's (St. Gregory's) feat. Approximately the late 4th century. Stone engraving. Daghestan. The eternal sign of Tengri. Gold. 6th or 7th century. Found in a steppe mound in Daghestan. Turkic priests. Rock drawing. 1st millennium BC. The Altai. Pages 58-59 Women in praying positions. Fragment of a tapestry. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Turkic preacher at a temple. Ancient rock drawing. Pakistan. Pages 60-61 A deer head in a griffin's beak, a ritual symbol. Carved wood. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. The Great Wall of China. 3rd century BC. Warrior figures. Terracotta. 3rd century BC. Shenxi Province museum, China. Pages 62-63 Suspension bridge in the Pamirs. King of the nagas. Low relief fragment. 4th century BC. India. Pages 64-65 A she-naga. Low relief fragment. 4th century BC. India. Turkic warrior. Bronze. 2nd century. Iran. Pages 66-67 Ancient horsemen. Low relief fragment in Persepolis. 5th century BC. Iran. Tengri faith preacher. Gold. Approximately 4th century BC. Amu-Darya treasure. Pages 68-69 Turkis laying siege to a pagan fortress. Platter fragment. Silver. Anikovsky treasure. Arab-Ata Mausoleum. Interior. A typical specimen of Turkic architecture, with a dome on an octagonal brickwork building. Uzbekistan. Drinking horn in the shape of Capricorn. Silver. 5th century BC. Seven Brothers mounds,

North Caucasus steppe. Pages 70-71 A khan's caftan (reconstruction). Leather sown over with gold flakes. 5th century BC. Issyk mound, Kazakhstan. Horsemen. A fragment of embroidery. Early 1st century. Noinulin mounds, Northern Mongolia. Pages 72-73 "Kushan" runic script. Part of an inscription on the temple honouring Khan Erke (King Kanishka). Stone. 2nd century. Surkh-Kotal, Northern Afghanistan. Ruins of an ancient Turkic temple and fortress of Koi-Krylgan-kala. 3rd century BC. Khorezm, Uzbekistan. Winged animals, or "ancestors" of Turkic chimeras. Detail of the Seven Rivers altar. Bronze. Approximately 4th century BC. Kazakhstan. Pages 74-75 Head of a Turkic warrior. Earthenware. 2nd century. Khalchayan, Uzbekistan. Dagger in a gold sheath. Early 1st century. Tilla-Tepe burial, Afghanistan. Plan of the Tilla-Tepe burial. Turkic warrior of the age of the Sak (Shak or Sacae). Fragment of a low relief. Nagarjunikonda, India. Pages 76-77 Coin of Khan Erke (King Kanishka). Statue of Khan Erke (King Kanishka). Red sandstone. 1st or 2nd century. Museum in Mathura, India. Stair of the temple in honour of Khan Erke (King Kanishka). 2nd or 3rd century. Surkh-Kotal, Afghanistan. Pages 78-79 Coin of Khan Erke (King Kanishka), reverse. Detail of a palace low relief. Stone. 2nd century. Airtam, Uzbekistan. Female lute player. Detail of a low relief. Stone. 2nd century. Airtam, Uzbekistan. Pages 80-81 Buddhist sanctuary (Sita-Tara). Bronze. Vajra (Tengri sign), the chief treasure of Buddhism. The illustration shows a side view of the "cross".

Vajra on top of the temple in the Buddhist Erdeni-Dzu Monastery. Mongolia. Winged lion with a serpentine tail. Sandstone. 2nd century. Mathura, India. Pages 82-83 Detail of a necklace. Gold. 4th century BC. Tolstaya Mogila mound, Ukraine. Pages 84-85 Chariot, the forerunner of a buggy. Wood. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Chariot. An ornament. Gold. Amu-Darya treasure. Pages 86-87 Kailasa, the ancient Turkis' sacred mountain. The Himalayas. Drinking horn in the shape of a ram figure. Silver. 4th century BC. Kul-Oba mound, Ukraine. Mound excavation. Drawing made in 1864. Pages 88-89 Griffin attack. Applique on felt. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Oil lamp. Bronze. 4th century BC. Chertomlyk mound, Ukraine. Pages 90-91 Mound excavation. Drawing made in 1864. Dancing woman. Gold plaque. Bolshaya Bliznitsa mound, North Caucasus steppe. Griffin attack. Fragment of an applique on felt. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. View of excavation of the fifth Pazyryk mound. Pages 92-93 Khan (he or she?) on the throne. Fragment of an appliqued felt rug. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Platter table with detachable legs. Wood. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Pages 94-95 Horseman. Fragment of an appliqued felt rug. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Jars on the seashore. Composition. Pages 96-97 Horseman. Drawing. Dura-Europos, Iraq. Ornament, a hrivna with horse rider figures. Gold, enamel. 4th century BC. Kul-Oba mound, Ukraine.

Dragon. Detail of an ornament. Gold, beading, garnet insets. 5th century. Karyazh city, North Caucasus. Deer stone. Page 98 Griffin attack. Detail of a necklace. Gold. 4th century BC. Tolstaya Mogila mound, Ukraine. Sword hilt. Gold. 4th century BC. Chertomlyk mound, Ukaine. Ruins of the ancient Turkic fortress of Teshik-Kala. Khorezm, Uzbekistan. Pages 100-101 Chasing scene. Fragment of a low relief. Stone. 1st millennium BC. Iran. Water jet lion (copy). Stone. Orta-Kapy gate. Derbent, Daghestan. Citadel (Naryn-Kala). Western gate. Derbent, Daghestan. Orta-Kapy gate. Derbent, Daghestan. Pages 102-103 Derbent in 1796. Drawing from a book by E. Eichwald, Germany. Reliquary, a container to keep relics. Pages 104-105 Ahtamar Church of the Holy Cross. Low relief. Turkey. Orta-Kapy stair. Derbent, Daghestan. An ancient Turkic temple after excavation. Early 4th century. Derbent, Daghestan. Martin Schongauer. The Carrying of the Cross. Copper engraving. 15th century. Pages 106-107 Ruins of an ancient temple. Armenia. Roman legionaries. Marble. 2nd century. From the Louvre collection, Paris. Page 108 Turkic horug (church gonfalon). The crosier of the Armenian Church Catholicos. Detail. Pages 110-111 Albrecht Durer. Four Horsemen. From the Apocalypse cycle. Wood engraving. 15th century. Pages 112-113

Plan of the Echmiadzin Cathedral, an example of Turkic church architecture - the foundation is always cross-shaped. Early 4th century. Armenia. Plan of a temple in Garni built before the arrival of the Turkis, an example of European architecture of that age. 2nd century. Armenia. Temple in Garni. Drawing of a reconstruction. Kirants Monastery built in the famous hip-roof style borrowed from the Kipchaks. Armenia. Pages 114-115 Ruins of a church. The mason's low relief. Stone. 7th century. Armenia. Symbolic presentation of a church as a gift from Turkis to a Christian community. Stone. Akhpat Monastery, Armenia. Plan of the Echmiadzin Cathedral after renovation in the 5th and 7th centuries. Armenia. Pages 116-117 Acceptance of Tengri's life-giving sign (aji), called today Exaltation of the Cross. Djvari Church. Mtskheta, Georgia. Page 118 Face of St. George. Dome detail of the Church of St. George. Mosaic. Late 4th century. Salonika, Greece. Pages 120-121 Sarcophagus with a scene showing Constantine's triumph. Pink porphyry. 4th century. Vatican Museum. Rome. Church of St. Sophia, interior. Rebuilt in the 6th century. Istanbul (Constantinople), Turkey. Head of Emperor Constantine. Marble. 4th century. Rome. Church of St. Vitalius, a specimen of Turkic architecture - hip-roof style on an octagonal building. Beginning of the Gothic style. 6th century. Ravenna, Northern Italy. Pages 122-123 Mosaic in the Grand Palace at Constantinople, an example of Turkic, or "barbaric", influence on Byzantine art. 5th and 6th centuries. Istanbul (Constantinople), Turkey. Woman with a jug. Detail of the floor mosaic in the Grand Palace at Constantinople, a specimen of Greek art. 5th and 6th centuries. Istanbul (Constantinople), Turkey. Theodoric's Mausoleum. 6th century. Ravenna, Northern Italy. Church of St. George, one of the earliest churches in Europe patterned on Turkic architectural style. 4th century. Salonika, Greece. Pages 124-125

Priceless relics of the Church of St. Sophia. Mosaic. Istanbul (Constantinople), Turkey. Pages 126-127 Besshatyr mounds. Kazakhstan. Heavy Turkic-type bow. Fish, a sign of antiquity in Turkic spiritual culture. Gold. 4th century BC. Ukraine. Page 129 Figure of a youth. Detail of a candleholder. Bronze. 5th century BC. Nimfei mounds. Ukraine. Horseman. Mural. China. Duel. Detail of a vase. Silver. 7th century. Female figure. Detail of an ancient mirror. Bronze. 5th century BC. Ukraine. Pages 130-131 Figure of a youth. Detail of a candleholder. Bronze. 5th century BC. Nimfei mounds. Ukraine. Candleholder. Bronze. 5th century BC. Nimfei mounds. Ukraine. Ram in a wolf's maw. Probably, a sign of sacrifice. Carved wood. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Archway. Derbent, Daghestan. Vessel. Silver, gilt. 4th century. From the Hermitage collection, St. Petersburg, Russia. Ruins of an ancient city. Romania. Pages 132-133 Heavenly angels, messengers from the Altai. Detail of a bracelet. Gold, bronze, enamel. 4th century BC. Kul-Oba mound, Ukraine. Figure of an argali, a bridle ornament. Wood. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Pages 134-135 Copper lamp. Kazakhstan. Interior of a medieval castle, a typical example of Turkic influence on European culture. Austria. Horse ornament. Horn. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Pages 136-137 The Capitoline she-wolf (after restoration). Bronze. Rome. Column. Ruins of an ancient European city.

Pages 138-139 Lion head. Detail of a necklace. Gold, enamel. 4th century BC. Bolshaya Bliznitsa mound, North Caucasus steppe. Fragment of a Greek statue leg. Marble. Details of Turkic ornaments. Gold, enamel. 4th century BC. From Ukrainian mounds. Pages 140-141 Greek vase. Earthenware. From the Hermitage collection. Ancient shield. 5th century BC. Tuektin mound, the Altai. Warriors leaving the battlefield. Detail of a gold plaque (tracing). From Peter the Great's Siberian collection. Khan's helmet. Bronze. Kekuvatsky mound, Ukraine. Pages 142-143 Amazon. Bronze. 3rd century BC. Ukraine. Gold bowl. 4th century BC. Kul-Oba mound, Ukraine. Saber hilt with unmistakable Turkic symbols. Page 144 Old building with Tengri signs. France. Serpent, a symbol of wisdom. Marble. Constanta Museum, Romania. Pages 146-147 Great Attila. Detail of a vase. Silver. Sentmiklos treasure, Northern Romania. Pages 148-149 Serpentine bracelet. Gold. 5th century BC. Seven Brothers mounds, North Caucasus steppe. Female swan. Vessel. Blue marble. Quiver lining. Detail. Gold. 4th century BC. Melitopol mound, Ukraine. Pages 150-151 Bridle ornament. Bronze. 5th century BC. Seven Brothers mounds, North Caucasus steppe. Fancy wood carving was the oldest Altaic handicraft. Pages 152-153 Wood lace, a play of the handicraftsman's imagination. Triangular plaque with figures. Gold. Karagodeuashkh, North Caucasus steppe.

Pages 154-155 Preparing for falcon hunting. Mosaic. 4th century. Face. Carved wood. 5th century BC. The Altai. Decoration detail of an old house. Wood. Tomsk, Siberia. Pages 156-157 Carved posts. Tracing. Wood. Daghestan. Bear. 3rd millennium BC. Samus burial, Siberia. Pages 158 and 161 Raphael. Pope Leo I meets Attila. 16th century. Fresco. "Stanza d'Eliodoro", Vatican. Pages 162-163 Bowl. Silver, gilt. 4th century BC. Gaimanova Mogila mound, Ukraine. Drinking horn. 4th century BC. Ukraine. Woman's perfidy. Engraving. Ivory. 4th century BC. Kul-Oba mound, Ukraine. Pages 164-165 Two chimeras from a khan's sarcophagus. Gold. Bolshaya Bliznitsa mound, North Caucasus steppe. Fantastic lion. Gold. 5th century BC. Kelermes mound, North Caucasus steppe. Fraternization scene. Plaque. Gold. 4th century BC. Kul-Oba mound, Ukraine. Female dancer. Gold. 4th century BC. Bolshaya Bliznitsa mound, North Caucasus steppe. Pages 166-167 Al-Idrisi's world map. 1154. Sphinx, or half animal half man. Fragment of an applique on a felt rug. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai. Page 168 Louvre's interior, Paris, France. Pages 170-171 Map showing lands settled by Turkis. Page 175 Ornament. Gold. Peter the Great's Siberian collection. Cover Upper World Bird, a sign of Turkis' unity. Felt. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai.

Horseman from legend. Gold, enamel. 4th century BC. Kul-Oba mound, Ukrainian steppe. Back fly-leaf Arba-bash rug. Coloured designs on felt. 5th century BC. Pazyryk mounds, the Altai.

A Medieval History of the Turkic People and the Great Steppe A Handbook for Schoolchildren and Their Parents
Moscow This is the second volume of the book about the Turkic people, from its rise in the Altai Mountains and its spillover to the rest of the Eurasian continent. The touching narrative and thrilling legends relate about little-known facts of world history and the life as it really was for the Turkis in the Middle Ages, their contribution to human civilization, their victories and setbacks. Nothing like this book has ever been published anywhere around the world. © Murad Adji, 2002 © St. George International Charity Foundation (Jargan), 2002 Introduction Europe and the Turkis Customs of Ancient Rome Katylik Means Ally The New Romans Europe after Attila The Near East and the Turkis The Robber Synod and Other Assemblies Pope Gregory the Great The Catholic Turkis The Anglo-Saxon Campaigns The English Kipchaks Islam The Koran The Signs of Islam Sultan Mahmud The Turkic Caliphate On the Eve of Great Changes Dissent The New Europeans The Crusades Gentiles and Knights The Seljuk Turkis Genghis Khan

The Sulde of Genghis Khan The Yoke That Never Was The Inquisition The Descendants of Genghis Khan List of Illustrations and Commentary Ex oriente lux "Light comes from the East"… ...and transforms the world Introduction In the life of every nation, as in the life of every person, certain events take place. There are many of these events. More to the point, life is an endless series of these events. However, while some are quite ordinary and pass unnoticed, others are very different - with the force of a hurricane, they sweep away everything that surrounds them. The destruction of the old has always transformed itself into the birth of the new. This is how eras in the history of mankind have always begun and ended: with events that shake the world. The Great Migration of the Peoples that took place from the 2nd to the 5th centuries was one such event. Like a tornado, it swept away all that lay before it and transformed life on the Eurasian continent beyond all recognition. After it had gone, the Ancient World - the Greece and Rome of antiquity - entered the period of the Dark Ages (also called Late Antiquity, or the Early Middle Ages). The Great Migration began in the Ancient Altai. At first, it was rather quiet and ordinary; soon, however, all of the vast Eurasian continent came to feel it. It was then that Turkic horsemen drove their mounts to the far reaches of the known world: starting from Central Asia, they reached the shores of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Thousands of kilometres of the territory they had traversed now lay behind. The horsemen settled huge stretches of land that had barely been populated earlier. There was no force on earth capable of holding back and stopping this living tide that came pouring out of the Altai. All the armies everywhere gave way in encounter battle. And in one of history's great events the Ancient World was trampled under the hooves of the horsemen. They destroyed all that was old in order to give people a new life. The Great Migration of the Peoples was that most rare of events: in the history of mankind, such a thing has happened only once. The world has never known anything like it either before or since. The victories of Alexander the Great, the Roman emperors and even the famous Genghis Khan pale before it. They simply appear too ordinary. Of course, the Great Migration did not begin all in one place, all by itself or all at once. The Turkic people had been gathering strength for seven centuries. For seven hundred years they had been laboriously preparing themselves for it, creating a culture which, following on the heels of Classical culture, would ennoble the world of people. This was no accident; it could not possibly have been. People adopted the Dark Ages culture (and, later, that of the Middle Ages as well) without a struggle. Why? What was different about it? What was in it that so attracted people? First of all, there was the belief in the God of Heaven - in Tengri, who watched over the Turkis. This faith of a Single God was something completely new in the life of humanity. The peoples of the Ancient World, like those of the world before it, were ignorant of it. They were pagans. Paganism and a belief in many gods distinguished this era. The people of Ancient Greece, for example, prayed to Zeus and Hera; in the Roman

Empire, they worshipped Mercury, Jupiter and other gods. They would bow their heads, offer sacrifices and beg for protection before their images. Save for the Turkis, the God of Heaven was unknown to the world; they did not pray to Him. The God of the Altai was called Tengri, the Eternal Blue Sky. Under his eternally watchful eye the horsemen rode out into the world. They rode out boldly and confidently. It was for this reason that before each attack, before each new battle the horsemen would loudly chant "Allah billah! Allah billah!" - Turkic for "With God", or "God is with us!". They were always victorious. Other peoples immediately noticed this. At that time, they believed that victory in battle was due not to the warriors, but to their Patron God, and to Him alone. In accepting the new faith, people were also begging to come under the protection of a powerful god: this was the role of the faith in the lives of the nations. It is because of this that ethnographers reserve a special place in their research for religion. …The second distinguishing feature of Turkic civilisation was iron - the metal that the Great Tengri gave to his people. Iron allowed the Altaians to create a huge number of useful objects for the home, work and waging war. No one in the world cast iron as artfully or used it for so many different purposes. Thousands of smithy forges worked day and night to turn out this precious metal; iron was then valued more highly than gold. This, too, drew other peoples to the Turkis. In the Altai there was a holiday of iron; it first appeared five hundred years before the beginning of the Christian Era, when they had just learned to smelt the precious metal in their smithy furnaces. The Great Khan himself opened the first holiday. He approached the anvil and struck the red-hot metal with a hammer. Each blow awoke a certain pride within the people, recalling the greatness of the ancestors who had given their descendants the gifts of freedom and strength. Only then would the festivities begin: horse-racing, dancing, singing, feasting and revelry. It was a holiday celebrated by all the Turkic people. It is clear that the Great Migration was not just people moving to a new location; nor was it merely the conquest of neighbouring lands. It was something else entirely. It resulted in the irrevocable destruction of mankind's Bronze Age and opened the way to the Age of Iron. The Turkis consciously broke with a past that had outlived its usefulness and embraced a new, progressive future. This happened across the continent. People talk about this period in different ways, some calling it the Barbarian Invasions, or the Invasion of the Huns. This is not true. It is not true for the simple reason that the belief in the God of Heaven and iron first appeared among many peoples at this point in history immediately after their initial contact with the Turkis, during the Dark Ages. The horsemen - the emissaries of the God of Heaven - were deified. Even in appearance the Turkic people differed from others. They had their own unique features, quite unlike those of any other nation on the planet. The horse that would become the symbol, or tamga (tribal emblem), of the newcomers from the Altai as well as the banners bearing the Cross of Tengri were among those features that distinguished the Turkis from other peoples. The Ancient World had never seen anything like it. Even their clothing was unlike anything it had seen before, since it was the clothing of a horseman - a missionary and warrior who never spent a moment away from his horse. No, the Great Migration was most certainly not the spontaneous exodus from the Altai that some write about. Nor was it an invasion. It was not "wild nomads" who left their homelands, but a nation that had become crowded inside the valleys of the Altai. They needed new lands and new expanses in which to grow. It was at this time that the word kipchak first appeared - a

"crowded one". This was the name given to the roaming horsemen. When speaking of the Altai, they meant an entirely different land than that which we mean today: all of Southern Siberia, from Lake Baikal in the east to the Pamir Mountains in the west. That is to say, a huge, mountainous land that stretched to Tibet - this is what they called the Altai. There are many monuments to these bygone days - witnesses to the past, one might say. Sometimes they are quite surprising. Examine them more closely. Thus, in 1974, archaeologists found a royal burial mound in north-western China, a region where Turkic-Uighur people live to this day, though they have long since forgotten their true history. The finds from the ancient burial mound confounded the scholars. They were completely taken aback by clay statues - several thousand of them - that showed the clothing of warriors and the accoutrements of their horses. They all had their faces to the north, towards Uch-Sumer, the holy mountain of the Altai. It clearly was not the work of the Chinese. They were not Chinese, because there were no Chinese living here in the 3rd century BC. Their country lay far to the south, beyond the Great Wall. The clay warriors are portraits of today's Uighurs, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, Khakass, and Nogay. Faces such as these are also common among Kumyks, Tatars and Bashkirs, but not among the Chinese. Yet another example, one that is also extraordinarily striking: Not far from the town of Rummindei, in Nepal, there is a column with an ancient inscription. The Buddhists will assure you that it is a holy place, for here is carved the name of the founder of their religion - a man who came from the Altai, from the clan of Shakyas. The column was raised in the 5th century BC. It was at this time that the Indians first laid eyes on the Turkis and were surprised by their appearance. This is why they called Buddha the "Turkic God", or the "Buddha Shakyamuni". From this time forward they would depict him with blue eyes, like those of other Turkis. Today Buddhism is one of the world's main religions, but time has hidden within it a mysterious trail - one which is, however, still visible to those who know how to look for it. There is a science of religion, a discipline which studies the secrets of different faiths and allows us to understand much about the past. For example: in their communes, Buddhist monks live according to a strict set of rules, one which is known to scholars. What, one might ask, can this information tell us? As it turns out, it can tell us a great deal. To someone with the proper background it reveals that Buddhism was in fact founded by the Turkis. There is a great deal in common between the belief in Tengri and the teaching of Buddha. There can be only one source for these teachings: the wisdom of the Altaic sages. This is why the Ancient Altai was called the Earthly Paradise, the Flowering Eden: it was here that the world's great religions began. They came from the Altai's Eternal Blue Sky. Three thousand years ago, spiritual quests began in the Altai. The belief in a God of Heaven was born. The times were harsh. Then, in order to preserve their ancient religion, some of the Turkis migrated to India, Iran and the steppes of Europe. They were called Scythians and Saks. Spiritual protest provided the first roads out of the Ancient Altai. In the 2nd century, the mass exodus of Altaians onto the steppes began, but the reason for it was quite different: it was economic. By this time, simply too many Altaians had been born, and the mountain valleys were now crowded. The nation needed new farmland, pastures and grasslands. Turkic speech has been heard ever since in the Caucasus, the Middle East and Europe. It was there to which the horsemen came to open the Dark Ages. Europe and the Turkis

As is well known, every event has its consequences. One result of the Great Migration was the state of Desht-i-Kipchak, the largest in human history. It grew slowly and painfully, as its borders expanded behind the companies of horsemen who streamed forth from it. "Wherever our horses' hooves go is our land," said the Kipchaks. Its zenith came with the indefatigable general Attila; and in the 5th century, following the death of Attila, the steppeland empire fell apart. This, it would seem, is the fate of all large nations: they are short-lived. Desht-i-Kipchak fell, but it was not destroyed by enemies; neither was it brought down by floods or other natural disasters. It was destroyed by the Turkis themselves, by their own hand. How and why did this happen? There is no simple answer. The explanation lies in its history as a whole. From the start the country was shaken by internecine wars, which caused it to fragment into dozens of smaller nations. These were not alone. Everyone else hated Desht-i-Kipchak; the entire ancient world wanted it destroyed. They did what they could against it. Rome was especially zealous in its hatred. The Roman Empire was the creation and crown of the ancient world. It had once been a city-state. It then became a republic, in which the Senate held power. The senators had been members of patrician, that is, noble, families. Julius Caesar, however, changed this rule: once he had seized power, he transformed the Republic into an empire. Under his rule the successes of the Romans were nothing short of fantastic. They conquered the entire Mediterranean Basin. The ancient world lay at Rome's feet. The Empire lived as in the Golden Age and knew only victory. It was not renowned for its crafts, its art or its religion. It was renowned for its wars. The nation worked for the Army, as the Army worked for the nation. The Romans' main enemy were the Greeks. These two nations had long been rivals over trade with the East, and especially with Persia. The Greeks lived closer to the Persians and had already controlled the trade routes into Europe for centuries. The Romans, however, once they had formed the Republic, soon conquered Greece, and assigned to the Greeks the humiliating role of Roman subjects. For seven hundred years, Roman rule held sway: the Empire defined its own boundaries and determined the fate of Europe. Julius Caesar fixed the northern border of the Empire at the Rhine and established a string of forts and defensive works there. The Emperor Augustus set the border to the east, along the Danube. The Empire appeared to be an unassailable citadel. The ancient historian Pliny the Elder wrote about these times as "the unbelievable grandeur of Rome". His words rang essentially true. However, thunder could be heard in the cloudless sky. The Pax Romana was shattered in the year 312, at the very walls of the City itself. Her hitherto invincible army, the pride of the emperors, for the first time suffered a terrible defeat. Comically, it was beaten by Turkic horsemen who had come at the invitation of the Greeks. The Emperor Maxentius fell, hacked to pieces like a thin reed. Following this battle, the Roman Empire came tumbling down, splitting into two parts: Eastern and Western. In the Eastern half the Greek Constantine ruled, while Romans continued to rule in the West. They were hardly the same, self-satisfied Romans as before, however. They had only their memories left. Constantine proved to be a clever and cunning ruler. He declared the supremacy of the Turkic religion in his lands, and began paying subsidies himself; from Desht-i-Kipchak he asked for little in return. Any Turkis who would serve in the Greek Army would teach the

Greeks to build new cities and temples, open up new pasturelands and raise cattle. It would have seemed that the Emperor's intentions were entirely peaceful. Constantine thus lulled the khans into a false sense of security: he had only humbled himself in order to win back from the Turkis the trade routes to the East; time and money would then work in favour of the Greeks. He wagered his entire future on this cunning scheme. Put succinctly, Constantine had come up with a plan to redirect the Great Migration into a new channel: the living river of Turkic culture began to flow into and enrich the Hellenic World. A new culture appeared, one which would later be called Byzantine. Byzantium truly became a land where the Altai could be felt in literally everything. The Greeks adopted the Kipchak religion: in the year 312 they began praying to Tengri. By 325, however, they had grown bold enough to start calling it "Greek Christianity", and declared the Emperor Constantine to be God's Representative on Earth. In their minds, it was he, Constantine, who had broken up the Great Roman Empire. The Greek Christians dealt ruthlessly with their former, pagan religion. They destroyed the old temples and palaces, and expelled and killed the pagan priests. What, after the 4th century, remained Greek in Byzantium? No one can say. Playing up to Christianity, the Greeks destroyed the works of Aristotle, Plato, Herodotus and other great scholars. In 391 they even set fire to the world famous Library of Alexandria, with its rare ancient manuscripts. No one grieved for it. However, the treasures of the Ancient World did not disappear: they were saved by - the Turkis! Today the world knows about Aristotle and Plato only because of their efforts. No one in the West now remembers that it was the Turkis who, for a thousand years, kept translations of the works of Europe's ancient authors in their libraries. When the Greeks burned the ancient manuscripts, the faith of the God of Heaven was unknown in the Western Empire. Before 380 official Rome recognized only the religion of Mercury as supreme; for other beliefs people were persecuted. This was a calculated policy: the Emperor Valentinian I dreamed of recovering lost territory. He despised the Kipchaks and did nothing to conceal his hatred. Under him, the Roman Army became stronger than it had ever been before. Trumpets summoned new legionaries throughout the Empire as, under Valentinian I, the nation awoke from its long sleep. It should be noted that this Emperor was a most mysterious figure. Who was he? How did he ascend to the throne? We know only a little. His father had been an army officer. But this was not the most important factor in his rise. His contemporaries noted that the Emperor did not look like a typical Roman: he was blueeyed and fair-haired - just like a Turki. Another indicator: the Emperor happily accepted Turkic mercenaries into his army and conversed with them freely. How? This also cannot be adequately explained. His first test came in 374. It was then that Kipchak scouts first penetrated into the Western Empire. Once they had crossed the Istr (Danube), they settled on the modern-day lands of Hungary and Austria. Their example was then followed by an entire horde of Turkis. Rome, of course, could not come to terms with this peaceful invasion. In their very first battle, however, her troops were routed. The following year, the Romans emerged from the battlefield victorious. True, their holiday was spoiled by the Kipchak embassy that was subsequently dispatched. They failed to show even the slightest signs of respect when they arrived at the Roman headquarters, and laughed raucously at the victors. The Emperor Valentinian could not tolerate such an insult: he shook with indescribable rage - and then dropped dead on the spot. On their fertile Danube lands, the Kipchak now established towns and villages - the first of

their kind in Western Europe. The settlers were called Huns, Alemans, Ostrogoths and Visigoths. Though obviously distorted, the name of the khan who led the Visigoths was preserved: Fritigern. He would forever be remembered in legends and chronicles by this strange (to Turkic ears) sobriquet. However, the names of the clan founders have come down to us free from distortion, the way they were originally pronounced in Turkic. The Visigoths belonged to the tribe of the Balts (in Turkic, Sekira), while the Ostrogoths belonged to that of the Amals (in Turkic quiet, calm, gentle). This was fixed precisely in European chronicles. On August 9, 378, Roman troops once again challenged the Turkic cavalry on the banks of the Danube. Once again, they overestimated themselves. A flanking attack by the horsemen was overwhelming; after this battle, the Western Empire ceased once and for all to have an army. At this point Rome was forced to recognize the Kipchaks. Customs of Ancient Rome Having lost in open battle, the Romans began to look for success via their political policies. They found it: through the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I they achieved what they wanted. Victories were at hand. Contradictory data survives about Theodosius. He was a layabout who led a life of ease. In fact, he was a secretive and clever politician: all of his projects were surprisingly successful. In 380, he issued an edict condemning paganism, then another on the unity of faith. By the time Theodosius became Emperor of both Byzantium and Rome, he had established the religion of the God of Heaven throughout the Western World. The residents of Rome, however, were not yet ready for this, and the news took them completely by surprise. Several people inhabited the Emperor's body at once. He called himself a Christian, but took pleasure in the torturing of his subjects. A wicked and cruel man, he behaved unpredictably, and loved to surprise his retinue with his unexpected escapades. However, he was cold and calculating in everything he did. Neither could anyone understand his behaviour when, in 382, Theodosius invited the Turkic Horde (a military alliance of the clans) into the lands of the Western Empire. He had invited the Kipchaks, for whom Rome had the greatest contempt - and the most deathly fear. Theodosius ordered that they be given estates, but only on condition that the landowners' children serve in his army. These estates became, in effect, small foreign states: those who lived on them spoke Turkic, followed Turkic law and had Turkic rulers. They were not under the control of the Empire. They had complete freedom and independence in all matters. It is, perhaps, the Turkic geographical names that the settlers brought with them which speak most eloquently of those times. There are many such names. They can be found everywhere in Western Europe, wherever the Kipchaks settled. For example: one of the mountain peaks in present-day Switzerland still bears the name Tendri. Apparently, this peak reminded the Turkis of the Altai mountain of Khan Tengri. The Turkis' free settlements caused something resembling an outburst of rage in Europe, especially after the Roman estate holders were obliged to turn over a third of their pasturelands and one half of their woodlands to the Turks. This measure was given the name Hospitality, and it was this word which was used in the official imperial edict. It all began with this. Previously, the strictest of laws was in effect, forbidding marriages between Romans and Turkis. It was now abolished. Mixed marriages were now, on the contrary, welcomed. In Rome it became fashionable among the masses to wear Turkic clothing, which was both

warmer and more comfortable. The aristocrats fell in love with the beautiful woollen tunics, breeches, baggy pantaloons, and yepanchi (capes) of the Kipchaks. In Europe, everything was becoming intermixed, and everything was changing before people's eyes. Turkis, those "wild barbarians", joined the Emperor's retinue. They held positions of responsibility. Khan Arbogast, whose name in Turkic means "Red Throat", became Trainer of Soldiers, that is, the commanding general of the army. The General's voice sounded like a clap of thunder. As part of the Emperor's retinue, this thundering boor felt free to do whatever he wanted. When they tried to remove him, he spat impudently in the Emperor's face: "My power doesn't depend on your smile or your frowning eyebrows!" Two days later, the Emperor was found strangled in his own bed. A contemporary of these events wrote the following lines: "The title of Senator, which was to the Romans in ancient times the epitome of all honours, has been transformed by these fairhaired barbarians into something wretched...." This was quite true; it had become something wretched. None of Rome's patricians could rival the Turkis in the arts of either war or state. None of the plebeians knew how to cultivate the land, raise cattle or build cities and temples as well as the Turkis. The Romans were too pampered and weak. The only thing they had left was their hatred for the "fair-haired barbarians". In Western Europe the entire history of Byzantium's birth was repeated. Here as well, two diverse cultures - East and West - merged. Here as well, the Turkis established their leadership, but already in Latin society. The East had clearly triumphed, but it was held back by the Great Steppe. It was restrained by the traditions and adats (unwritten codes of local customs, traditional practices and conventions): like millstones around the necks of the Kipchaks, they restricted their movements. It was upbringing that prevented Arbogast from seizing power in the Western Empire, although it was virtually in his hands - he was, after all, General of the Army - for, according to the adats, he had no right to be Emperor since he was not born into a ruling family. He did not have God's blessing to ascend to the throne. The Europeans quickly seized upon this vulnerability of the Turkis - their bent for remaining true to the Word of God, and to the law. The nobility of the Turkis has served to their detriment ever since, and their enemies have exploited this masterfully. Unafraid, the rulers of Rome and Byzantium drew the Kipchaks closer to themselves, entrusted their safekeeping to them and heeded their counsel. It did not cost the state much to keep the Turkis around. The steppe had taught them to value little things. It is true that even after taking the Kipchaks into their service, neither Theodosius nor any of the emperors who followed him were able to achieve the peace they sought within the Empire. On the contrary, disorder became more and more frequent. However, the people from the steppe did not start it: the real reason was the intolerance and arrogance of the Romans themselves. Centuries of dominion had corrupted them. Though they had become Christians, the Romans didn't necessarily love their neighbours; this was especially true when it came to their Turkic-speaking fellow citizens. Here, both the Emperor's edicts and all attempts at persuasion were useless. They were gripped by a mindless hatred. They no longer wanted to serve in the army and deliberately disfigured themselves in order to avoid having to serve. Their protectors, the Turkis, who did nothing to spare themselves hardship, became objects of ridicule. The Romans openly had as little compassion for them as they had for their slaves. They became the butt of jokes. Poets composed bawdy yarns about them, each one worse than the last. Even

when the Emperor spoke of the Empire's peoples as being "equal, and bound together by a single name", malicious laughter could be heard. How else can one understand such words as: "Those two-legged beasts! They're unbelievably hideous and disgusting. They look like those stumps that stand like idols around bridges...." Or: "Just like dumb animals, they can't understand the difference between what's true and what isn't...." Rome's aristocrats even demanded that the Kipchaks either be driven out of the Empire or be turned into slaves. Of course, these threats were nothing more than posturing by the weak. By the 4th century everyone understood that the Turkis were an integral part of Europe, while Europe was the only homeland their young people had ever known. To change this was beyond anyone's power. After the Emperor Theodosius's death, his sons attempted to abolish the "customary gifts to the army". All their efforts were in vain: the first generation of Latin Turkis - thousands of them! - had been born. Of course, no one would allow them to be turned into slaves. After all, their fathers were far from the weakest members of society. However, the explosion finally came; and trouble, when it appeared, crept up unnoticed. It all began in the waning days of 406 - on December 25, the grandest Turkic holiday, the Day of Tengri. The Romans could think of no better present than the massacre of the wives and children of the Kipchaks serving in the Imperial Army. As day broke, the executioners' axes began to sing. It was they which would hurry the pace of events. Having drunk - to the dregs - from the cup of shame and humiliation, the Kipchaks rose up. A civil war broke out in the Western Empire. It was headed by Khan Alarih, a man who had no liking for prolonged parleys. He laid siege to the capital. The city, having in the meantime come to its senses, begged for mercy. Senators and the aristocracy formally apologized to the Kipchaks; they paid them generously in gold to lift the siege. However, it all happened again a year later… As if on purpose. In 410 the Kipchaks laid siege to Rome for the third time. This time, no one believed the residents' lies, and the city was taken. The warriors went on a rampage and sacked the city in retribution. Hostilities threatened to engulf and destroy Roman society, but this did not happen. But there was a wise man among the Romans, one who had understood for the three decades prior to the outbreak of hostilities that it was impossible to turn two diverse peoples into one. However, if they could be united by a common faith, a new nation would appear. The idea was suggested to him by the Kipchaks, their clergy, and the Turkic word katylik (ally). The Catholic doctrine, or Catholicism, was born. This was the outstanding idea with which modern Western Europe began. This wise Roman's name was Damasus I. He was Bishop of Rome from 366 through 384. He was de facto the first Pope. Katylik Means Ally Prior to the 4th century, there was no Church in Rome with a population of about 300,000. There had been a particular sect there since the 1st century AD, a few dozen people who would gather in the city's catacombs. They were later called Christians. They lived according to the laws of the Jewish faith: they prayed in synagogues, celebrated Biblical holidays, and practised circumcision. For the average Roman, "Jews" and "Christians" were one and the same. This was particularly characteristic of Early Christianity. It was special. The sect's members

called themselves "atheists" (their word!): they did not recognise the gods, did not have churches in which to worship and knew neither icons nor the symbol of the cross. The authorities feared these non-believers and subjected them to persecution. The word Christianity first appeared among the Greeks at the end of the 3rd century. It became well-known as a religion at the beginning of the 4th century in the Caucasus, in Derbent. It was then recognized in Europe and the lands of the Near East. Since antiquity, however, in Rome itself, only Rome has been considered as the cradle of Christianity. This has always been so, since this is what the Catholic doctrine proclaims. It also names the Bishop of Rome as the First Clergyman of the Christian World, declaring him Pope. Curiously, the Romans also learned the word "Pope" at the beginning of the 4th century: the earliest such inscription yet discovered can be found on the walls of the Roman catacombs of St. Calixtus. It is true that he is, for some reason, considered to be Greek, although they had no such title. The authors of the Catholic doctrine were distinguished by an inexplicable logic in literally everything. It rarely coincided with reality; instead, it ran counter to it. This, however, did not seem to bother anyone. This was because Rome was, at that time, greatly worried by the successes of the Greeks. Byzantium had, under the pretext of fighting for Christianity, begun to conquer the Near East, with its rich cities and lands. The Romans wanted to reply somehow, to think of something - anything! - they could do. However, they were lacking in military strength. Thus, the politicians clothed in the robes of a bishop got down to brass tasks. The idea was simple. Adopt Christianity, become allies of Desht-i-Kipchak, and get what they wanted with the help of the Turkis. This is why they, having first heard the Turkic word katylik from the mouth of the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius, understood it in a completely different way. The word suggested to them the idea of an alliance. Proof of this can be seen in their inviting hordes of Kipchaks to settle in the Western Empire (and not in Byzantium!) in 382. This was carefully calculated and considered. A decision had to be made. The Turkic patriarch Ulfila approved the Romans' idea, having seen in it a way to reconcile the Kipchaks and the Europeans. This was recognition of Catholicism by the Great Steppe. The first step was successful. As Europe progressed farther, it began to speak of Arianism a new teaching. It purported that the Turkis' religion was an "erroneous" part of Christianity. On the surface, of course, this was confirmation that nothing at all had changed. Meanwhile, however, a great deal was different: the words acquired the strength of a sword, while policy the word - having displaced the army, moved forward. The essence of Catholicism is hidden in the world's secret changes. Change - but not by ourselves. Kill - but not by ourselves. It was not a new faith that was born, but a policy that would be the essence of the Western Church for centuries to come. It simultaneously both was and was not; for it remained secret. Hidden from the eyes and ears of the unordained: say one thing and do another. From this time on everything that happened in Europe would seem accidental. Bishop Damasus became Pope when he was an old man already. He lived out his life in Rome. From the first days of his papacy he was surrounded by Kipchaks, since they were the only ones he genuinely trusted. It was they who instructed him in the mysteries of the faith of the God of Heaven. At that time, there simply were no other teachers. Nor could there have been. This is the origin of the Church's famous adage, "Light comes from the East." It entered into its everyday use for all time.

The greatest writers and scholars of that time were part of the Pope's retinue; they were then called the Doctors of the Church, its Founding Fathers. It was "with their words" that the Pope spoke. It was at this time that the first holy books by which Catholics live today were written. Unfortunately, the names Basil, Gregory Nazianzin, Hieronymus and Ambrose mean little to today's reader - about as much as the Bishop Augustine's name. Legends have grown up around these prominent thinkers. But the works they penned no longer exist: they were burned by the Catholics themselves as they destroyed all traces of the Turkis' presence in Europe. However, if one thinks about it: who were these people who taught the elements of Turkic spiritual culture to the West? To their belief in God? Their great achievement was linking the Cult of Tengri with Jesus Christ. If they were not Kipchaks, who were they? There were, in fact, no other transmitters of the secret teachings at that time. In any case, they came from a milieu which had little, if any, knowledge of either Greek or Jewish culture. Europe turned towards the East since light came from the East. True, the works they had actually penned themselves were burned, and their biographies were rewritten. But something of their writings was preserved. They can be found in the Churches that had no connection to either Rome or Byzantium. This is the Turkic spiritual legacy, with which Europe had nothing to do. It could be learned only from Altaic teachers. The ancient Christian books were, as a rule, written in Turkic. Religious services in the churches of the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries were always held in Turkic. It was the holy language of both Europe and the Near East. There are texts that are more than 1,500 years old; they are cared for as holy relics, as, for example, in Armenia. At that time, only the Turkis had broad knowledge of the God of Heaven. There was no lack of scholars or philosophers among them. It is a tradition of faith that comes from the dim mists of antiquity. From the Altai. From its monasteries. Even Herodotus mentioned the spiritual wisdom of the Turkis-Scythians. He was amazed at the depth of their culture. In the 1st century, Khan Erke (Kanishka) demonstrated this brilliantly to the East, when the Buddhists adopted the rituals and philosophy of the faith of Tengri at their Fourth Convocation. A new, northern branch of Buddhism was born. Another fact that speaks volumes is especially curious. The self-satisfied Romans never bothered to learn Greek, due to their contempt for the Hellenes. The Greeks responded in kind. In this, however, the Kipchaks excelled: there were no better interpreters in Europe. In the art of translation, Hieronymus - a Danube Turki, descended from the very first group of Turkis to cross into Roman territory - was beyond compare. Having adopted Christianity, he became one of the Pope's closest advisers and devoted himself to the editing and translation of the holy books from Turkic into Latin. That's it! From Turkic into Latin. His translation of the Holy Scripture (The Vulgata) was the seed from which the Christian literature of Western Europe would grow. To this day, the original texts are kept in the Vatican Library. They were brought to Rome from Desht-i-Kipchak; or, more precisely, from the Don. The Vulgata (which literally means "the simple" or "the people's" [writings]) was not even a translation. It was more. It explained to simple people, that is, the Romans, the gist of the Holy Scripture in language understandable to them. In other words, it was intended to enlighten them, and turn them into cultured people. Or consider this fact. At that time, Milan, which was served by the Bishop Ambrose, was considered Western Europe's leading (and perhaps only) city of science and art. People used to flock to hear Ambrose preach: he would hold throngs of hundreds spellbound. Through

Ambrose's efforts, Milan was transformed into a city where the Turkic language and Turkic ideas were held in especially high esteem. It was a Turkic city; hardly any Romans lived there. It was under pressure from this "furious bishop" that the Emperor was compelled, in 381, to move his residence from Rome to Milan and to outlaw pagan worship in the Western Empire. In other words, he acted against traditional Roman culture. The Latin Kipchaks served the Catholic idea faithfully. They sought a union with Europe, their new Homeland, and became Catholics for the glory of Tengri. At the beginning of the 5th century, another event took place in the Western Empire, one that was also connected with the Kipchaks. In 402, they stripped Rome of its status as capital, and declared Ravenna to be the main city of the Empire. The city had certain advantages over Rome: it would be difficult for any enemy to assault, since it was surrounded by swamplands. The only access to it was by sea. The new capital was built in the traditions of Turkic architecture, as no Romans lived there - only Kipchaks. The city was distinguished by the domes on its churches and its Eastern-style mausoleums decorated with blue mosaics. Especially distinctive was its famous baptistry, where Christians were baptised. Octahedrons and cupolas - marks of Turkic architecture - could be seen everywhere. These innovations were also an indisputable result of the Great Migration; from them, a new style of architecture, the gothic, would come. Now, with the arrival of the Turkis, European cities would be built and decorated in a completely different way. The New Romans In 411 the Roman Army was commanded by Constantius, a man of amazing gifts. His ancestors were Danube Turkis. He was not a born soldier; he was a born politician. He was a wise politician such as Rome had never seen. This is what the Greeks wrote about him: "This was a man with huge eyes, a long neck and a massive head, which he would bow forward to the neck of the horse he was riding.... At banquets, he was so charming and witty that he even rivalled the jesters who lounged about his table." Interesting…. A horseman who rode in an almost Turkic pose. With the appearance of a Kipchak. With the blood of a Kipchak. With the habits of a Kipchak. With jesters at banquets. Yet already a Roman. A New Roman. Ancient Rome was in those years becoming a bilingual city. Its morals were changing before the eyes of the current generation. Everyday life, people's thoughts, their desires and behaviour - everything was new. Everything in the Eternal City was changing under the influence of the Turkis. Constantius won glory as a military commander in Gaul. With a small number of troops he smashed the army of the Gauls. However, this battle was nothing more than a fleeting episode in his life. The Commander-in-Chief wasn't worried about the army; it was in politics that he saw the key to his military successes. This was something absolutely new for militaristic Rome - something quite surprising. In 413 Constantius enticed several large clans from the Turkic Horde - the Burgundi - into the Empire. He settled them on lands in modern-day France. There they founded a city on the west bank of the Rhine. They were designated foederati, and a new Kipchak land soon appeared in Western Europe - Burgundy. Constantius pursued his policy with the help of the migrants themselves. He was successful. He understood that the Empire needed Turkic allies, not Turkic enemies. The

wisdom of the military commander was manifested in this: he did not call for war, but for cooperation for the common good. Negotiations with the Khan Ataulf, who was then leader of the dissatisfied Latin Kipchaks, were successful. He was persuaded to stop the civil war. This was done in such a way as to transfer the Latin Kipchaks' wrath against Spain; there they found glory for both themselves and the Empire. It was they who founded Catalonia, yet another new Turkic land (the name, incidentally, comes from the Turkic word katyl, "to join"). The conquerors of Spain returned home in honour. Even the quarrelsome Romans greeted them as national heroes. They were also granted the status of foederati. In 418 the Empire designated the city of Toulouse as their capital. This was a true celebration of the Latin Kipchaks' recognition. The Church held Constantius' diplomatic victory in high esteem. It understood sooner than anyone else that the Kipchaks had come to Europe to stay, and now they were the continent's main political and military force. On February 8, 421, the people of Rome awarded Constantius the crown and the title of Emperor of the Western Empire. He was neither the first nor the last Turki to become a Roman emperor. Unfortunately, his life was cut short seven months after his coronation. The cause of his mysterious death has never been established. However, Byzantium almost certainly had a part in it. Not only had the East vigorously opposed the ascension of a Turki to the imperial throne, it feared the Western Empire growing stronger. Valentinian, Constantius' son and heir to the throne, was at this time not even five years old; his mother, Galla Placidia, a strong and devout woman, therefore assumed power in his stead. A Roman by blood, she had suffered a great deal at the hands of the Turkis, and hated everything Turkic. Mixed marriages had by this time already come into fashion. They were called "the fruits of Catholicism". These "fruits", however, turned out to be quite bitter, since the Turkis who married Romans were forced to change their way of dressing and their names; this was a condition of their getting married. The Church drew up lists of names for them. On the surface, a quite inoffensive matter. All the names, however, were Greek and Hebrew, and occasionally Roman - never Turkic. This is why true Turkic names are rare in European history. A name is the sign of a people, its tamga. It is clear and understandable. The names Napoleon or Homer convey entire epochs. This is not true of the European Turkis. Even Attila was not the general's real name; it has come down to the present day distorted - or, more precisely, as pronounced by the Romans. The Latin Kipchaks' children grew up as Catholics and as Romans. They, of course, were not forbidden to speak Turkic or to observe Turkic customs and holidays. However, neither were they encouraged to do so. Such rules were introduced by the Church - rules with double standards, aimed at inculcating duplicity. From the marriage of a Danube Kipchak and a Roman noblewoman came a handsome boy, who entered European history with the name of Aetius. A most talented individual and a Roman hero, Aetius grew up among Kipchaks. The son of a magister equitum ("master of the cavalry"), he, according to the custom of the steppes and against the rules of the Church, was handed over to a Turkic family to be brought up in their traditions. This old Altaic custom is called atalyk, or "fatherhood". The boy learned a great deal while living among the steppe dwellers.

Aetius grew up a cultured man, one familiar with the customs of many of the Empire's nationalities. His son was brought up by Attila himself; the latter called Aetius his brother for many years. Because of this, it was easy for him to live among both his enemies and his friends. He even almost became Emperor of Rome, but was prevented from doing so by Placidia, the tigress sitting on the throne. This woman did not recognise the ideas of catholicism, and was a zealous advocate of war. It wasted no time in returning to the Empire. Once again, the country staked everything on the army. And it suffered a string of defeats. It was therefore felt especially hard in 429, followed by a new civil war in the Empire. Everything came full circle. The people's dissatisfaction exploded with new force. Their fragile world was completely disrupted. The Latin Kipchaks were then being led by Aetius. With the help of his allies from Desht-iKipchak, he decided the outcome of the civil war in a single battle. The young general's authority grew with each passing day. Envoys from the provinces came to see him, and officials reported to him - to him, not to the juvenile Emperor, and not to the bellicose tigress sitting on the throne. An oppressive dual power ruled the Empire; this, as is well known, does not last long. A new civil war stood on the threshold. The Byzantine Emperor wanted to seize the moment and meddle in events. He wasn't able to, however; things turned out quite differently. A third force made itself known: the Kipchaks of the young Turkic states of Gaul and Catalonia. They were led by Khan Gaiseric. He, as one chronicler wrote, "had a sharp mind, despised luxury, loved to be comfortably off, was sparing with words, and had an unbridled temper." In a word, he was a Kipchak with a capital "K". His name inspired fear in all who recalled the invincible son of Tengri - Gheser. Quietly, with a minimum of talk, he smashed the combined armies of the Eastern and Western Empires. He then turned his gaze towards Africa, and took the remaining Roman colonies there, which provided the Empire with grain. In 439, Carthage, the largest city in North Africa, became his greatest prize. No one expected such a sharp change; the world had turned upside down. The New Romans had shaken the Empire to its very foundations: its navy, army and cities were now in their hands. Aetius, once again with the help of Desht-i-Kipchak, nevertheless clung to power: he ruled for almost twenty years on behalf of the Emperor, and was Attila's long-time friend. He never actually became Emperor, though, since the Empire's fate was foreordained: this child of antiquity had to die; death was already staring it in the face. Europe after Attila The blow from the Latin Kipchaks was devastating. But Attila would still have the last word. A new Europe awaited him: the East and the West were to engage in a duel to the death. This would mark a turning point in the Great Migration of the Peoples. It would be Attila against everyone, and he would win. The Turkic Steppe would then become the Great Steppe. This is exactly what happened. Attila's horsemen, under the banner of Tengri, scythed through the lands of the Empire; even Pope Leo I fell to his knees before them. "My greetings to you, O Scourge of God," said the Pope to Attila. The Roman Emperor gave him half the imperial treasury to supplement the subsidies that Rome was paying the Turkis every year. It was then that the highest mountains in Europe received their current name: the Kipchaks named them in honour of Attila - from the Turkic word alp, meaning "hero" or "conqueror". To this day they remain the Etzel Alps - the "Alps of Attila".

The headquarters of the Desht-i-Kipchak ruler was located in the Alps, apparently somewhere between the present-day cities of Dawo and Innsbruck. Or it may have been in the Tyrol, which is so reminiscent of the Altai. Attila's time was the peak of the Great Migration of the Peoples, its crowning moment, its triumph. This is when the Middle Ages truly began. Nearly every second European was an alien who spoke Turkic. This means that nearly every second European today is a Turki by blood. No one could defeat General Attila. However, Attila the man was defeated. He brought this about himself, when he left behind 184 sons. (No one thought to count his daughters.) Such indefatigable love is disastrous for any family. It is especially disastrous for the family of a ruler. In 453, following Attila's untimely death, his sons started carving up his empire. However, they didn't quite know how to go about it. Among them were both Romans and Byzantines (the sons of European mothers) who did not recognize Turkic customs. They began to fight among themselves. They cast the die and refused to realise what they were doing; in the process they lost the freedom-loving clans and tribes of the Kipchaks. They divided a free people like slaves. Khan Ardarich, Attila's friend and devoted adviser, and a greatly respected man, was the first to revolt. Unwilling to suffer insults, he took up arms. However, it was too late: the war of Turkis against Turkis had begun. Having defeated every army on Earth, they should have been able to defeat themselves. This was the only way the Great Migration could end. The war of Kipchaks against Kipchaks was inevitable. The reason, of course, lay not in Attila's children, but in civil strife and human nature. If a people does not feel kinship for itself, it dies. This is a fundamental law of nature. A brother ought not to forget a brother in either a moment of joy or a moment of sorrow, however bad he might be, or it is all over. There is first the slow, agonizing death of the family; then the clan; and then the nation. The internecine warfare of the Turkis lasted throughout the Middle Ages - hundreds and hundreds of years. Clan turned its back on clan, family on family. Life divided the communities of Kipchaks into new peoples, altered their names and languages and led them to deny their ancestors and their own history. Brother forgot brother; brother murdered brother. What could be more horrible or torturous for a people? This was a war without rules and without winners. This, however, is what is called "life". Europe's current culture is the result. In destroying the Ancient World, the Kipchaks destroyed themselves, their unity and their society. They were slowly being reborn. Their children grew up alongside another culture and another people, although they, too, spoke Turkic. In changing their names, in changing their clothes, the people themselves changed imperceptibly. They didn't intend to, but they changed nevertheless. They became strangers to themselves, their ancestors and their own Great Steppe. Of course, no one noticed this at the time; no one bothered to think about it. Life followed its normal course. However, everything went just this way - unnoticed. Kipchaks also lived on the Dnieper, on the Don, in the Caucasus and on the Yaik. However, they lived in an old-fashioned way that was truer to their previous life and preserved the traditions of the Steppe. This is why they had remained unaffected by deep change, although, of course, they, too, had already made many more changes in their ways of life than, for example, the Altaians, the Khakass and the Yakuts. Thus, in creating a new culture, the Turkis themselves perished. They burned out like a

flaming candle. In lighting the way to the future, they made themselves casualties of progress. This was the source of their losses and gains - the loss of their former unity. Of course, not only the Kipchaks were reborn in the Europe of the Dark Ages, but the Greeks, the Romans and the Celts as well. In getting used to their new lives, they too transformed themselves and their habits. The Europeans became the New Europeans: for them, the world had become a gigantic melting pot, where different cultures simmered together. It has never been otherwise. The histories of the Kushan khanate, Byzantium and Italy are all proof of this. Without the Turkis, the Greeks would never have created a flourishing Byzantium - just as, without the Persians, the Turkis would never have created the magnificent Kushan khanate. However, as ancient wisdom teaches, in going after what is not yours, you will lose what is. One must adopt the ways and things of others, but carefully and intelligently. Of course, the civil strife that swept over Europe following the death of Attila could be labelled as wars, but a "dialogue of cultures" would be better. These were the politics of the Middle Ages - the politics that were creating a new world. The Kipchaks were among its creators. In Europe today, the Turkic influence can be seen no less than the Roman or the Greek. This was the nation that defeated the Great Roman Empire; it gave its people the faith of the God of Heaven along with the gifts of its knowledge, architecture and literature. One cannot help but notice the obvious. After the death of Attila, it would have been better had the Western Empire died a quick death. It already saw nothing other than disgrace. In 454, the Emperor Valentinian had Aetius put to death. Aetius' comrades-in-arms, however, promptly murdered the ungrateful emperor. In response to this Khan Gaiseric took Rome and pillaged it for two weeks. From this time on the Kipchaks did whatever they wanted within the Empire. Khan Ritsimer, once he had become commanding general of the army, imprisoned and removed from power Roman emperors as if they were nothing but boys. He openly mocked them; he changed the "master" of the throne ten times in 15 years. He himself could not take the throne because of his origins, but all power was effectively in his hands. Orestes, a former confessor of Attila's, replaced Ritsimer as commanding general. He was an entirely different person. Violating the adat, he named his own son Emperor; the latter took the name Romulus Augustulus. This Turki was the last of the Western of Roman emperors. In 476 he was overthrown by the Kipchaks themselves, who saw the young man's reign as a violation of the laws of Heaven. This was done in the name of the holy traditions of the Altai by Khan Odoacer, who declared: "The Empire abolishes the title of Emperor." With this, the name Italy acquired its own, true meaning: ytala, in Turkic, is the imperative of "to abolish". An embassy was dispatched to Byzantium, and with it the crown and other imperial signs of rank that had outlived their usefulness. Thus ended the history of Ancient Rome. Thus began the history of Italy. The Near East and the Turkis From the 4th century on, the Greeks and their Church determined European policy. Church patriarchs set its course. They would do anything, so long as they could control the Mediterranean - so long as they could rise in stature. But how? How does a scholarly theologian gain renown? How does one raise the stature of the Church? Through their deeds and knowledge. However, the Greeks lacked both of these. The Greek Church lived under the patronage of the Imperial Court. It was part of the state and a lever of power; no more. It had been this way since the time of the Emperor Constantine, and

would continue to be forever. Like Rome, the Greek Church demanded no ideological questing. It did not have to worry about itself, the health of society, or the nation's future. This was done by the secular authorities. The Church was merely another crown - a decoration for the Emperor. The contented Greek patriarchs feared anything new; neither did they want to hear about any Catholic doctrine. They watched out for themselves - change of any kind frightened them. However, the only real constant in life is change. It is always unexpected. Change, of course, did come to the Mediterranean. It could not help but come, along with the Great Migration of the Peoples. Priests from Derbent were the first Kipchaks to arrive. They were both horsemen and holy men. With their help, the Caucasus became the spiritual well-spring of Syria, Palestine, Egypt and North Africa. Word of the omnipotent God of Heaven spread swiftly. People began to hear a new word: Tengri. Who were these priests - Turkis? Or were they perhaps of some other nationality? We do not know. However, it was they who brought the faith of the God of Heaven to these lands. It was they who opened the pagans' eyes, who spent many long hours winning them over. Finally, it was they who buried their leaders in ceremonial mounds, along with their horses and weapons - just as was the custom in the Altai. The royal burial mounds in North Africa have become longed-for finds for modern archaeologists. Are the geographic names in which the name of Tengri can be discerned mere accidents? He was called Dongar or Dangri in Abyssinia, the Sudan and Egypt. From these flowed the Blue, or Heavenly, Nile. Surprising, isn't it? The burial mound finds confirm that the word Kipchak was once synonymous with the word holy in the Near East. The new culture of the Dark Ages was not planted here with the sword, but through the Word of God. It was brought by the priests from Derbent. For a long while, historians knew practically nothing about the Near Eastern pages of the Great Migration's history. Its events were surrounded only by legend. In December 1945, however, in the ruins of an ancient village (now known as Nag Hammadi), Egyptian peasants stumbled upon some skilfully hidden papyrus scrolls. Scholars then arrived to confirm what was one of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. One of the world's most ancient libraries had found some new readers. Each scroll turned out to be a complete book. They are now kept in the Egyptian (National) Museum, Cairo. These manuscripts were written in the 4th century. They contain references to the God of Heaven and are devoted to the spiritual life of the Dark Ages. The veil of mystery covering the past has been, it would seem, lifted somewhat. The history of the Coptic Church has also told scholars a great deal. It is renowned for its antiquity and for the fact that, although they call themselves Christians, the Copts profess faith only in the God of Heaven (Tengri). To this day, the Copts preserve their traditional, ancient orders of service - the ceremonies taught them by Turkic priests. Derbent was previously a holy city for the Copts; it was there that their faith - or, more exactly, their school of life - began. Just who are the Copts? They are Egyptians who, in 325, refused to recognise Greek Christianity. They rejected it as incorrect. From that time on - as though life itself demanded it - the Copts became the guardians of Turkic spiritual values. This was apparently when they acquired their current name of Copts, which in Turkic meant "they have been elevated", or "the elevated ones". They now number around one and a half million members and watch stubbornly over their faith. There are still several other such religious communities in the world today. They, like lost oases in the desert, live according to their own ways. There is really no way to approach them.

From ancient times, Egypt has been renowned for its remarkable culture - not for its pharaohs, and not for its pyramids. Also, for the Academy in Alexandria, which was always its main treasure. It gave the ancient world some of its most famous scholars: philosophers, mathematicians, astronomers, physicians and orators. It was the centre of culture for the entire Mediterranean. Aspiring scholars did not go to study in Greece; neither did they go to Rome. They went to Alexandria, where they were able to acquire a higher education. It was there that they acquired their erudition. The Egyptians adopted Christianity at the beginning of the 4th century, along with the Armenians, Albanians, and Iberians. More than anyone else, they were ready for the new culture that the Great Migration of the Peoples was bringing to the world. The theology of the God of Heaven became for them the height of knowledge. Then - once again, from the Turkis - "Arabic" writing appeared in the Near East. It was in fact an ancient Turkic script, their common cursive. In the Ancient Altai, it was written with the help of goose quills or pointed sticks. For non-cursive text, the Turkis used runes. These were carved on mountain slopes and could be read from a distance; the cursive was used for writing dispatches, letters and poetry. It was read from right to left, or from top to bottom. The ancient Turkic cursive was later known as Uighur writing. It was used in the Turkic world until almost the 18th century. The visual similarities of early Arabic and Uighur script are simply amazing; one cannot tell them apart. This has more than once left scholars at a dead end, especially when they have found inscribed monuments in the Urals and the Altai, that is, far from Egypt, where Arabs have never set foot. It never occurred to anyone that these were ancient Turkic monuments - a written message from the Turkis' forbears. Everyone thought that the Turkis had no written language. This, however, was simply not true. In the 4th century, Arabic script could not have been something new and unexpected for the East. For example, they learned about it in Persia in 248 BC, when the Arshakid Dynasty came to power. They were Altai Turkis (the Red-haired Saks). Their first official documents were written in this script, which was unknown in the Western world. The Egyptians, as is well-known, had their own way of writing, based on hieroglyphs. This is seen clearly on their ancient papyruses. The new alphabet was of extreme value, since it symbolized a new culture. In the Near East, it became a kind of sign of Heaven. As is wellknown, a new way of writing never just appears, by itself, among a people. It must be preceded by something extremely serious; the reason in this case was conversion to the faith of the God of Heaven. The ancient Egyptian texts found at Nag Hammadi testify to this. Some of them were written in an unknown script, in the language unknown to the Egyptians. Scholars therefore were unable to read the texts with any precision. They were able to determine that individual characters of this unknown, Coptic script resembled Greek letters. There was a great deal of speculation on this point. It was indeed speculation, since no one could connect either the texts or the events with the Great Migration of the Peoples and with the arrival of the Turkis in the Near East. On the other hand, one thing is known for a fact. The language and script, which are incomprehensible to modern-day Egyptians, were Coptic clergymen's cryptography. Weren't they really Turkic? Unfortunately, the exact answer remains unknown. Not one Turkic expert has ever held these ancient scrolls in his hands or had a chance to study them. They must, however, have some traces of Turkic, since this was the language of the clergy in the 4th century.

The priests in Egypt later switched to their local, Coptic language. This is what happened in Armenia and other countries where the ancient holy books were written in Turkic, and where services were also originally held in Turkic, and then in the language of the local people. The most amazing discoveries are possible in this area. They still lie ahead. The 4th century was a milestone in history. The new way of writing appeared almost at once among the Egyptians, the Armenians, the Georgians, the Albanians, as well as among other peoples who had adopted the faith of the God of Heaven. This is an indisputable fact. The link between the new faith and the new writing is more than obvious. It is found in the books and the histories of these peoples. It is just that some - the Armenians and the Georgians, for example - chose the runic script of the Turkis as the basis of their own alphabets, while others chose the Altaic cursive. This is the only difference. Much evidence of the Kipcha ks' arrival in the Near East has remained. There is the famous Church of Alexandria, where services were once held according to Turkic traditions. It is indisputable proof of their presence. At the Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical council of the Christian church, held in ancient Nicaea (now Iznik, Turkey) in 325, it was named the "diocese of highest authority". The Church of Antioch then appeared in Syria; it baptised and united thousands of parishioners. In Africa, the Ethiopian (Abyssinian) Church was active; in Armenia, the Armenian Church; in Caucasian Albania, the Albanian Church. They all followed Turkic traditions, and were condemned for this by the Greeks. These churches preached faith in the God of Heaven only, and not in Jesus Christ. They did not reject the Son of God, but kneeled and prayed only to Tengri. This distinguished them from Greek Christianity. With the coming of the Turkis, the pagan world could be seen changing before one's eyes in the Near East as well; it was being changed under the influence of the new culture. This greatly disturbed the Byzantines, who had dreamed of inheriting the laurels of the Great Roman Empire. In the spiritual dispute over the leadership of the Christian world, the Greeks lost out hopelessly to both the Romans and the Egyptians: they had no philosophers or theologians who were up to the task. In Constantinople, they were still relying on armed force and curbs; this was not enough. The imperial curbs for the clergy in Egypt and the other Eastern churches were of no use at all. They proved nothing; rather, they emphasised the weakness of the Greeks. How to force the Egyptians into line? The Emperor Constantine continued to mull this over, but came up with nothing better than war. True, his Egyptian campaign ended in tragedy. Instead of trophies, the body of the Emperor himself was brought back to Constantinople. This happened in 337. Then there were new wars. In 391 the Greeks burned the Egyptians' holiest of holies: their famous Library of Alexandria, together with its priceless manuscripts. They hoped in this way to deprive the Egyptian people of their main source of knowledge. Thousands of texts were consumed in the flames, but the Greek Christians were still unable to enforce their supremacy. Their swords were powerless. Even as a vanquished people, the Egyptians refused to comply. Their firmness of spirit was unshakeable. They began searching for a path to freedom. Something had to happen in the Near East sooner or later, but what? No one knew. War had failed to solve anything. That everyone understood is obvious even in a letter to the Pope from Hieronymus, a Roman papal envoy who, in 396, visited the Near East. There he found the Kipchaks, who had put an end to the senseless bloodshed. In his letter,

Hieronymus conveyed the horror of the imperial soldiers before the Turkic cavalry, who considered it degrading to fight on foot. As the papal envoy wrote, "they refuse to walk, and if they touch the ground in battle, they consider themselves to be already dead". It turns out that this was when the famous "Arab" cavalry first appeared; the date has been established exactly. The horsemen came from Derbent, behind "the Iron Gates of the Caucasus", as Hieronymus wrote. Derbent was a Turkic city; located there was a Patriarchal See that wanted to bring peace to the Christian world. The papal envoy was not in the Near East by accident: Rome had been worried about the ascendancy of Byzantium and its quarrel with Egypt. The Pope could not openly battle the Greeks; instead, he chose to rely on an old rule of politics: divide and rule. So far, the Romans had only managed to divide. A thick tangle of political passions was woven, and considerable forces were gathered. They came together at the Council of Ephesus in 431. This time, it was not the warriors; it was politicians in cassocks fighting over the Mediterranean Basin. Would it be Greek or Egyptian? In its own way, the Church was dividing up the legacy of the Great Roman Empire. Rome silently watched the squabbling between its former slaves. "Whoever has God on his side, has power" - so went the rule of Dark Ages Europe. It was followed without question. A reason for the council was quickly found: disagreement within the Church. In 428 Nestorius, the Bishop of Constantinople, said that the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, should be called the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ, since God could not possibly have had a mother. There was, of course, some common sense in his words. He, Nestorius, a deeply religious man, had been seeking his own path to God; this was all fine and well. His trouble was, however, that he, lacking any sort of deep knowledge, placed his trust in the authorities - the secular politicians. For example: in order to win the Byzantine emperor over to his side, he promised him the keys to Heaven. How, though, could he keep such a promise? Incidentally, very few knowledgeable Greeks were interested in theological hair-splitting. What was important to them was increasing the power of the Greek Church, and with it, the power of Byzantium. The Robber Synod and Other Assemblies It was no accident that the city of Ephesus was proposed for the council. The Greeks associated it with the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and the last years of her life. They had always loved "miracles", and now wanted to become the "chosen of God", in order to, with the help of the legends, demonstrate their leading role in Christianity. They needed the council to be held right at Ephesus. The Egyptian delegation was headed by Bishop Cyril of Alexandria. "One need not be wise; one needs only to have faith," he had said. The Pope - who expected nothing to come of the council; he wanted merely to harm the Greeks any way he could - was on Cyril's side. The Pope understood that the review of Church teachings would be a review of world politics. "Whoever has God on his side, has power," hung in the air of Ephesus. However, no theological argument materialised. Cyril's extensive knowledge was immediately recognised by all and held in high esteem. His passionate speech to the assembly exposed the ignorance of the Greeks. The age-old traditions of the School of Alexandria made themselves felt, and the contentious issue was settled the same day. True, the council did not end there. The Greeks were not mollified. They began a shouting match; insults were traded until it erupted into a genuine fistfight. Soldiers were called in to break up the brawl.

The Egyptians won the ecclesiastical argument, but not the Mediterranean. They immediately began preparing for another showdown. It was important that they cultivate success - and find support in Derbent, from the Patriarch of the Christian world. It was there, in Derbent, where they heard about the Trinity, the three manifestations of the God of Heaven. As the Turkis said of Tengri, "He is One in Three Faces." The Egyptians decided to bring the Trinity to Christianity. On August 8, 449, they summoned a new council at Ephesus, which went down in history as the Robber Synod of Ephesus. Things went less smoothly for the Alexandrian theologians this time. They had overestimated the effect their knowledge would have; and out of disgust, the servants of the Alexandrian Church then began beating the Greeks with their fists. Right in the assembly hall, they smashed in the face of the Greek Patriarch Flavian. The "assembly fathers" were then invited to sign a blank sheet of papyrus, where a resolution would later be written in. Anyone who resisted was either beaten again, or thrashed with thorn switches. The bishops signed the blank sheet unanimously. The Resolution of the Second Council of Ephesus, which favoured the Egyptians, was thus produced. It was, however, quickly overturned. It was only in 451 that the Christians found their Trinity. It was not, however, that of the Turkis. Instead of the Trinity, they in fact got a duality. The Greeks had insisted on this. This happened at a new, the fourth ecumenical council, convened in Chalcedon (modern Kadikoy, Turkey) in 451. A new scandal quickly erupted as well, but the Byzantine emperor hushed it up when he decreed, in 452, that "[N]o one, regardless of rank or fortune, has the right to hold public debates on religion." No one did any further spiritual searching afterwards. It was hardly needed; the division of the world was complete. The Church began to draw everything from its "Greek roots", including the history of Europe and Christianity. The Greeks thus conquered the Alexandrian Church, humiliated the Egyptians, cast a shadow on the Turkic faith, and - most important - exalted themselves. They were not bothered by the fact that the "false Greek Trinity" was not accepted by the Eastern Church; or that an uprising broke out immediately in Egypt. They had triumphed. The faithful heatedly protested the Greek distortion of their religion. For several years, Palestine was in turmoil. People there went to their deaths in the name of the One True God, and the ground was soaked with their blood. Byzantium, having put the finishing touches on Church doctrine, now conducted itself in a completely different manner; it even stopped paying the subsidies to the Turkis, and began to plot the assassination of Attila. The Emperor Marcian declared smugly, "I have gold only for my friends; for my enemies, I have iron." He certainly knew how to charge a situation. In 453 the open-hearted Turkis faced their first adversity: Attila was poisoned. Thus, the Byzantine Emperor became a new master of Europe. The power of the Greek Church was recognised only by the Romans; in the East, it was called "second-class Christianity". The Near East could not accept it: it conflicted with its traditions, and its earlier high culture. It planned to create its own religion - a "first-class faith". The quest for a pure faith led the Egyptian theologians to the idea of Islam - the religion of the God of Heaven, but with other, non-Greek rituals. In Byzantium during these years, "creative" thought also was in ferment; it was, however, creative thought of a different sort. The entire country was swept by an undisguised wave of

story-telling: they thought up saints, they thought up "miracles". The Greeks reinforced their own beliefs as much as they could. This is another contribution to world culture - the contribution of pagans. They turned the ancient Greek god of wine, Dionysus, a son of Zeus and Semele, into the Christian martyr St. Dionysius. King Demetrius became St. Dmitrius; Minerva-Pallada, the goddess of arts, St. Palladia. Helios, the god of the sun, was transformed into St. Ilius; and so on. A new life was created for each pagan god, connecting them to Byzantium. This is how the Greek "second-class Christianity for the common people" was. What connection did it have with the God of Heaven - or religion in general? The enlightened world watched in horror. Pope Gregory the Great The doctrine of the Trinity split Christendom. This was not its first schism. The Egyptian Church left the stage of world politics forever. Rome was another matter. There, too, dissatisfaction with the Greeks ripened. But it was not expressed openly. The popes, swallowing their insults, demanded the same of their congregations. They were secretly searching for a way out. They found it in 495, when the Bishop of Rome was, for the first time, called "Christ's Representative on Earth". A great deal stood behind these words: a new division of the Church - this time into Orthodox and Catholic. From then on, with each passing year, dissent grew within the Church. But it grew unnoticed: Rome was contriving to subordinate the Greeks, and thereby restore its leadership in the world. "Whoever has God on his side, has power"; Europe had never forgotten this. The honour of resurrecting Rome fell to Pope Gregory, later called The Great. He was perhaps the wisest man of that period and a true diplomatic genius. He was born in 540, into a family of an eminent senator whose forbears actually included more than one Bishop of Rome. From them, the young Gregory acquired a mature wisdom far beyond his years. Gregory trained as a lawyer and held the post of Prefect (Governor) of Rome. He inherited a huge fortune upon the death of his father. He was not, however, concerned with riches and donated his new wealth to the monastery at Monte Cassino. Behind his back, the Governor was called a madman. It should be noted that Europe, prior to the arrival of the Kipchaks, had neither monasteries nor any monastic tradition. They came to the Western world along with the Great Migration. They were introduced by the Turkis, who had had monasteries and monks well before the new era. In their language, the word abbot meant "around the Father" (abata, they would have said), while monastery was the first word of an ancient Turkic prayer, the Manastar khyrza ("Forgive Me My Sins"). In the West, Bishop Ambrose (the same indefatigable Catholic Kipchak who served in Milan) was one of the first to use these words. Sometime after 380, he founded his own monastery there. The Milan monastery is famous for the fact that it was not Christian. Only Tengri was worshipped there. It remained untouched even by Attila, when he destroyed the city. Obviously, this was not the only monastery in the Western Empire; in this way, Turkic culture took root, leaving its mark forever. At first, the native Romans were frightened by the monasteries: the monastic life was both alien and incomprehensible to them. The Church did not immediately take the monasteries into its bosom; this happened only in the middle of the 5th century. In 530 Benedict of Nursia founded the Benedictine monastic order. Who was this man? No

one knows for certain. He at least lived among the Kipchaks - Italy's new citizens - and the possibility that he himself was a Kipchak cannot be excluded. At that time, they alone knew the secrets of monasticism. It is known that only the children of the "New Romans" - the Turkis - were educated in the abbey of Benedict of Nursia. They were then the aristocracy of the Empire. It is also known that the monastery was visited by Kipchak leaders (Khan Totila, for example), who came to see Benedict himself. The first abbeys in Western Europe could only have been built by the Turkis. Behind them were the traditions of the Altai and all of Central Asia. Holy places. Hermits and prophets came there to pray, philosophise and acquire knowledge. Archaeologists have found the ruins of ancient Turkic monasteries. Not just two or three, of course. In Kazakhstan, for example, near the city of Aktube, there is the forgotten monastery of Abat-Baitak. Such monuments exist too in Chimkent, Semipalatinsk, and many other places. The geography is extensive: the Altai, Central Asia, the Urals, the Volga area - all this was Desht-i-Kipchak. The monasteries on the holy lake of Issyk-Kul were especially famous; the devout came here from as far away as Catalonia. The geographical map determined the route of the pilgrims, and it is wellknown. Monks were usually hermits who lived apart from other people, giving themselves up to prayer and to learning The Truth. Among them also, however, were the clergy - those who instructed the pilgrims arriving at the monasteries, held services in the temple and preached in far-flung settlements. In Christianity, it is precisely the forms of Turkic monasticism that have been perpetuated; there simply are no others. It therefore emerges that Benedict of Nursia, in founding his monastic order, was simply copying forms that were already well-known - forms from the Altai. However, the Egyptian Pachomius the Great is considered the founder of the first monastery to follow the Turkic model. In 312, he was serving in the army of the Emperor Constantine, of which Turkis made up the backbone. The soldiers' language was, therefore, Turkic. Getting to know the Turkis opened up a great many things in life for Pachomius. After his service was finished, he returned to Egypt with his Turkic friends, and they formed a monastic community. It grew in size to no fewer than 7,000 monks. Pachomius's dormitories lived according to the strict rules of Altai monasteries. Even their dress recalled the distant Altai: kolpaki (caps), bashlyki (hoods) and epanchi (long mantles) made of sheepskin. The possibility that these monks also left behind the ancient scrolls that archaeologists have found near the Egyptian city of Nag Hammadi cannot be excluded. How else can one explain the fact that Turkic words were used in the texts and speech of the Egyptian monks? Abata (abbot), altar, amen, artos (Easter bread), Bog (God), bursa (seminary), Gospodi (Lord) literally dozens of words. Only Turkologists know, for example, how to translate the mysterious sarabaita found in the ancient texts; and why, on the Coptic icons of those times, the word apa can be found alongside the image of the holy father, and how to understand it. Today, few Turkis remember that in antiquity, apa meant not just "elder sister" and "mother", but "father" as well. The word had many shades of meaning, including that of "father" in the sense of "priest". Many questions remain, but there is only one answer: the Egyptian clergymen knew a "sacred" language that was incomprehensible to ordinary people. The pedigrees of other Coptic clans also explain a great deal. It turns out that the Copts called their forbears ahmar, meaning "red-" or "fair-haired". The legends of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia also tell of the coming of fair-haired, blue-eyed strangers in the distant past.

Who were these people, these ancient strangers who left behind burial mounds and legends; who were horsemen and died along with their horses? They were neither Romans, nor Greeks, nor Persians, nor Africans; the more so, as it would seem that no one has ever referred to them, especially the latter, as being fair-haired. One must conclude that, once again, it is the question of the Kipchaks. Since ancient times, a great many Turkic words have been preserved in Arabic. Where did they come from? It cannot be mere coincidence. In the Middle East, the history of the early Dark Ages is closely tied to the Great Migration of the Peoples. It is from this that the very noticeable Turkic traces come. Indicative of this is the fact that, like the rest of his community, the monk Pachomius knew no Greek and was not a Christian. They worshipped Tengri (the God of Heaven) and shunned the Christian bishops. It was only in 451 that the Greeks, having conquered Egypt, took its monasteries into the bosom of the Greek Church. In those days, people in Europe spoke of the monasteries as the Eastern exoticism - Eastern, not Western. Outside of their exoticism, the Greeks and Romans saw nothing in them. Once they became Christian, the monasteries were a sorry spectacle. They became desperately poor. No one there spoke of spiritual quests any more. The monastic community was slowly dying. Quietly, like a caged bird. This continued until Rome's Governor Gregory saw the future of Italy and, indeed, the entire Roman Church in the monasteries. He finally saw the light, and the man who opened his eyes was Pope Pelagius II. Pope Pelagius II was a full-blooded Kipchak. As it turned out, he was neither the first nor the last Kipchak who had become head of the Catholic Church. He was born into a noble family, and governed the Church without the consent of Constantinople. No one in Rome knew the strong and weak points of the Turkis better than he. Pope Pelagius was quite probably the Catholics' most treasured gem, and the Turkis' most deadly poison. He revealed to the Europeans the innermost secrets of the Great Steppe. With him began the elevation of the Roman Catholic Church and the extinguishing of Desht-iKipchak. This was not, however, his dream. Long talks between the Pope and Gregory bore generous fruit. The Prefect of Rome - the No. 2 man in the Empire - gave all his money to the monasteries, then renounced secular life altogether, assuming the Church rank of deacon. The Pope then sent him as a papal nuncio or representative to Constantinople. Things there could not possibly have gone better. Once he had returned to Rome, Gregory entered a monastery. For a long time, nothing more was heard of him. Then, following the death of Pope Pelagius in 590, the clergy elected Gregory, the monk, to the papacy. The Church had never seen anything like it! The new pope, Gregory I the Great, was distinguished by his efficient, businesslike manner. He began managing Church affairs step by step. He first of all brought order to his papal domains, something which no one before him had ever done. He appointed stewards, increased the amount of money coming in from the land, and freed the Church from its dependency on the state treasury. The money obtained was not given by the new pope to the bishops, but was spent on the needs of the Roman people, and on the ransoming of prisoners of war. In this way, Gregory won recognition for himself, and elevated the authority of the Roman Church. This was far from all that Pope Gregory did. He gave most of his attention to the monasteries, however, creating for himself a fulcrum with whose help he figured on overturning and subjugating the entire world to the church. By this time, new nations had arisen in the lands of the Western Empire, nations which were

desperately hostile to each other and to Italy. There had never been calm here. These new states drew the attention of the Pope as well. He understood that people tired of war would listen to him and his monks. They had only to find the right words. The Pope sent his emissary to the King of Spain, and conducted a dialogue himself with the warlike Brunhild, the ruler of Austrasia (present-day France, Switzerland, Germany and Austria). All of Western Europe now came into his field of vision. In the centre of it, he placed the Langobards. Who were the Langobards? The inhabitants of northern Italy. Kipchaks who had laid siege to Rome more than once. A horde whose capital was Milan. A great deal is known about them. They came to Europe from the Altai, and were in no way distinguishable from the warriors of Attila. They believed in Tengri. Among the papers found to have by chance survived in the archives of Europe, there are documents of the Langobards, written by them in runes and cursive in Turkic. Where have all the other traces of them (not to mention the Langobards themselves) vanished? This is a true mystery. It ceases to be a mystery, however, when one studies the deeds of Pope Gregory the Great and the rest of the Roman Catholic Church. In 592 having concluded a peace with the Langobards, Pope Gregory declared the Roman Church to be a Turkic church, and himself to be its abbot. This is a forgotten episode in the history of Catholicism. The Pope even learned Turkic (he didn't know Greek), for which the Greeks dubbed him Duplicitus. A cunning game began. Addressing the Romans, he said: "The God of Heaven"; when he addressed the Langobards, he said: "Tengri". The Pope acted as if he had forgotten everything and knew nothing. Like an innocent child, he began begging the Turkis to teach him the secrets of the faith of Tengri. Benedictine monks, the faithful servants of the Pope, hurried to the Kipchaks. They easily got into the Turkic temples - to the holiest of holies. Because Pope Gregory tirelessly called himself "the Bishop not of the Romans, but of the Langobards". He also called himself "the servant of God's servants"; these were his very words. He came to Milan as a wanderer, dressed in the cloak of a slave. Among the Kipchaks, such cloaks were called kapas, or chekrek kapas. Once he had bowed to their temple, he said, in Turkic, "Here I am, the servant of God's servants!". What would the ambitious Kipchaks make of such a spectacle? That they were "the servants of God", and that he was their servant. Hardly anyone could resist such flattery; it could certainly not pass unnoticed. The Kipchaks believed this clever fox, and swallowed his bait. Meanwhile, the Benedictine monks were conscientiously earning their daily bread. The Pope had known whom to select. Though of Turkic blood, they were third- or fourth-generation citizens of Italy, and Catholics. Catholic Turkis were enthusiastically taken into the monasteries; and, in return for their services, they were clothed and fed. The word order was also knowingly chosen. Translated from Turkic, the word means "gift from above"; or, "They say you come from God". This was the origin of the monastic orders - the faithful warriors of the Pope, the quiet conquerors of Europe. The Catholics who had settled in Kipchak cities didn't burn the temples there, nor did they kill anyone. They quickly became like kin to the Langobards. The smile of submissiveness never left the faces of the Benedictine monks. They sincerely thought that they would bring peace to their lost sheep. Just one man, Pope Gregory, knew that sooner or later, the Kipchaks-Langobards would become accustomed to Christ - meaning the Roman Church, as well - and, once they had become accustomed, would forget their own faith and cultural identity.

"God the Father and God the Son - one family", he was fond of repeating. The more he used the name of the Son, the more he forgot about the name of the Father. Christians, like "one family", worshipped alongside the Langobards. Their places of worship were virtually identical; their prayers and ceremonies, almost the same. For example: until the 8th century, it was forbidden for ordinary people to enter a Christian church. They worshipped outside the church, next to it. They had gotten everything from the Turkis - from the kilisa, from the holy mountain of Uch-Sumer. It is curious that the first Christian basilica in the West appeared in 313, after the Kipchaks' victory over the Roman army. There was no altar inside, but the builders oriented it exactly towards the Altai. This would become a rule of Christianity for all time. One worships facing east, since Ex oriente lux: "Light comes from the East". The Catholics of these years copied many of the Kipchaks' ceremonies. Let us consider just one, the Church's Gregorian chant (named in honour of Pope Gregory, who introduced it into Christian ritual). Was this a Turkic tradition or not? There is no question about it: the tradition was well-known even in the ancient Altai. In the 1st century, the Khan Erke (King Kanishka) acquainted his new allies with it. They adopted it, along with the Turkic method of writing music, the socalled kryuki ("little hooks", that is, neumes - various symbols used in the notation of the Gregorian chant). All of this has been preserved in the history of Buddhism and in Buddhist communities. Sung prayers - akafisty (acathisti), irmosy (hirmoi), kondaki (kontakia) - were the musical language of the Turkic religion. We know this as well. The music is impressive, especially the ancient prayer of Uch-Sumer, where one can sense the soul of the Turkic people. It was to the sound of this chant that the Benedictine monks conquered the Kipchaks with their bare hands. They were vanquished without battle, without a fight. Pope Gregory the Great wiped them out completely, without a trace. From that time on, the number of Catholics in Italy rose sharply. The Catholic Turkis For over three centuries, a war for people's souls was waged. The Church spoke of peace, of loving one's neighbour, of submissiveness. The most beautiful words in the world flowed from its lips. The hostility prevalent in Italy abated. The Kipchaks submitted without even sensing how their lives were being ruined; they had accepted Christ. The hour finally came when the Langobards called the Pope "The Greatest of God's Servants". There was indeed a grain of truth in their words. There were truly now fewer wars in Western Europe. People saw this as one of the Church's achievements. No one noticed that the free life had ended; it now passed under the all-seeing eye of the Pope and his overseers. The monks - the eyes and ears of the Pope - now prowled around everywhere. Papal spies filled the cities, and dozed not even at night. They saw and knew about everything. The Church had achieved absolute power over the peoples and nations of Western Europe. Thanks to Pope Gregory, it wasn't just the number of Catholics that grew; their strength grew as well. All kings and other monarchs were forced to reckon with the Church. It had become a real power in its own right: a state that had its own troops, gold and land, but knew no boundaries. Its power grew in many different ways. For example: hardly had Pope Gregory concluded a peace with the Langobards when he sent to their khan as a bride a beauty named Theodelinda, the daughter of a renowned Roman, and a Catholic. Suddenly, the khan was surrounded by Catholics. He let them into his home

himself, although the adats (laws) forbade Turkis to marry foreigners: according to them, one could give one's daughter to a foreigner in marriage, but one could not take a foreigner for a bride. Soon, the Langobards found themselves under the authority of the Church. They had been trapped, like flies in honey; they had done it to themselves. Having adopted Roman customs, they began laughing at the "crude manners, the wild merrymaking, the gluttony and the repulsive appearance" of their ancestors. It is so written in the documents they left behind. They turned away from drinking kumys (koumiss - a beverage of fermented mare's milk) and stopped eating horseflesh. They even changed their ancient funeral ceremony: the Church forbade them to be interred in burial mounds, together with their horses. The Pope's agents had never spent time sitting on their hands. They were always very active. In Burgundy, the wife of the governor was converted to Christianity, having been bought with generous gifts. She soon brought her husband into the new faith. The motive was really quite trivial. Just before the Battle of Tolbiacum (now Zulprich, Germany), the outcome of which was very doubtful for the Burgundians, they appealed to Christ. They emerged from the battle victorious. This was enough, since the Turkis lived with the conviction that God grants victory to those who have right on their side. Thus, the Kipchaks from the Horde of Burgundians recognised the Pope; it was Fate. From this time on, the Burgundians began to be transformed as well, to the point of changing their diet: instead of horsemeat and koumiss, they had already started eating snails and frogs. "The frightened muses fled at the sounds of the wild Burgundian lyre," wrote one contemporary. To put it another way, the Burgundians began to forget the Steppe and its burial mounds. They stopped playing their musical instruments, the sounds of which now irritated them. This was, of course, no real tragedy. The Latin Kipchaks simply could not help but become Christians. It would have happened sooner or later. The faith that reconciled the Europeans old and new - naturally took root in them. This was indeed catholicism, in the sense of coming together. The new faith was not foreign to them; everything in it had come from Tengri. With each generation, it become more and more their religion. Of course, the Catholic Langobards continued to hold the Romans in contempt. However, they did make their peace with them. Their Code of Laws, which they adopted in 643, is highly instructive. The text is in Latin, but it says that they consider native Romans to be their slaves. They were Kipchaks, and that explains everything. Strikingly, they adopted Roman law, but subordinated it to the Turkic adats of the Steppe. At first, the Turkis of Europe looked at themselves and their history with trepidation. The Langobards, having become citizens of Italy, emphasised their superiority. This is extremely significant; it means that their pride in themselves did not die immediately. The Catholic Burgundians, however, cared nothing for themselves. They cared only about their union with the Pope, so that they could extend their power over neighbouring nations in his name. The Burgundians took the name of Franks in order to distance themselves from the Turkic world, while simultaneously getting closer to the Pope. They were allowed to mint their own gold coins, which were called shervans. Only the Turkis minted such coins. This "new" people clearly had very old customs. Kipchaks everywhere lived according to the rule "Among frogs, become a frog yourself". It was in their blood. They wouldn't enter "a different monastery with their own rules". They would adopt new ones. It was a tradition that is impossible to explain. It's the way it was in India, in China, and in Persia. They "became frogs" everywhere they went: they assumed new

names and literally dissolved among other peoples. But they always remained Turkis. Faded, colourless Turkis. Of course, this did not mean that they completely forgot their steppe traditions. No, they preserved these. The Burgundians, for example, may have "transformed" themselves into Franks, but they never gave up their smithing; they bred their horses even more diligently, and held races - true holidays! - with a flourish. They also kept their right to fisticuffs - a right of duelling, highly valued in the Great Steppe. "Heaven forbid that a brave man should ever be worthy of punishment, and a coward of rights," they continued to say. Those who had forgotten Tengri remembered his justice. Here is a line from a Dark Ages sage, one which perhaps could not be said better: "A Turki is like a bright pearl. Inside its shell, it's worth nothing. But when it comes out of its shell, it becomes the jewel in a king's crown." Was it not this that led to the "disappearance" of the Turkis in Europe? They became the jewels in other people's crowns. The Church diligently helped them in this. It played on their weaknesses like on a finelytuned instrument, separating Kipchaks from other Kipchaks, and from the legacy of their ancestors. It managed to do a great deal, easily and without offending anyone. In the 3rd century, the following was written about this skill of the Romans: "They build altars to unfamiliar deities in order to take over the sacred places of other peoples and then possess their kingdoms." It was exactly the same 500 years later. The Church took a tried-and-true weapon from the arsenals of Ancient Rome and won the day. Its new weapon was an old, forgotten one, about which the ingenuous Kipchaks knew nothing. The greatest of minds then worked for the Roman Catholic Church. There were Egyptians, Kipchaks and the Romans themselves. They were all working on one especially difficult thing: creating a new faith that would gather all peoples into a single Christian family. For example: the famous Latin Bishop Dionysius Exiguus (Denis the Little) was a Kipchak. He was a great expert on the traditions of the Steppe and the rituals of the faith of Tengri. At the beginning of the 6th century, he wrote The Apostolic Canons - regulations according to which the Christian Church lived, and continues to live to this day. Holidays, prayers, the mysteries of faith: everything in it came from the Turkis. Father Dionysius translated Turkic books into Latin. He was highly reputed as an accomplished mathematician and astronomer: he composed the calendar by which we live today, fifteen hundred years later. Before this, time in Europe was measured from the day Rome was founded. Another Catholic Kipchak worked for the glory of the new religion - the historian Jordanes. In 551 he wrote the book now commonly referred to as the Getica, in which he told of the Turkis' arrival in Europe. Unfortunately, he also wrote much to please the Church. He spoke out against his own people far too much. This was good all the same. His book showed the morals of medieval Europe. From the misrepresentations found in the book, it is obvious how much the Europeans were trying to cover up the traces of the Great Migration of the Peoples. They clearly managed to, at least in some things. But not in all. The Anglo-Saxon Campaigns Pope Gregory was indeed Great. However, even he, "Christ's Representative on Earth", could not create a new people. He didn't know how. Italy was neither unified nor peaceful after

Lombardy (Italian: Lombardia) was annexed. The country would always be divided between North and South. Different peoples live there, although after so many centuries they call themselves Italians and Catholics, and speak a single language. The Langobards were and remained Turkis. They couldn't be made over. In 567, they launched a war against Rome, a war that found support from thousands of Europe's Kipchaks. Centuries of unrest in Italy began here, in Lombardy. Their Turkic blood has not cooled to the present day. It follows that there was a blending of languages in Italy - a blending of tongues, not of people. Religion unified and reconciled them. But it could not change the people. One simply cannot create a people. The blood of one's ancestors doesn't die: it is passed on to their descendants, in each and every one of their cells. And, finally, in their souls. Memory of the past can die among a people, but not forever. It is awoken by the voice of blood. It turns out that there really is such a thing; to this day, it will not let Turkic Europe to be extinguished. Back then, the Roman Catholic Church attracted not just the Langobards, but the Kipchaks from the banks of the Rhine as well. What evoked its interest? Not the acquisition of new lands. On the Rhine, the Turkis had found rich deposits of iron ore and had begun smelting it. They called these lands Tering, which translates as "something bountiful". It was this that attracted the Church - iron. Without it, Western Europe would have remained in the background of the medieval world. The Benedictine monks showed up there unexpectedly, wishing to "unite what remained of the Roman Empire with the youthful strength of the Turkis, now victorious throughout the land". Everything went precisely according to plan; by now, they were experts. Earlier, Celts had lived on the Rhine. They were not an expressive people. This is how one Benedictine monk brought news of their encounter with the Kipchaks: the Celts "looked with surprise upon these people who were superior to them in body and spirit". They were surprised by the clothing of the Kipchaks, their weapons, and especially their "firmness of spirit". Their surprise was understandable: the Celts themselves wore kilts, had no knowledge of iron, and had never seen a horse. Their lives were completely different from those of the Turkis, but the same as the rest of the native Europeans. There were also Gauls living along the Rhine; they were little different from Celts. However, the Romans labelled the Gauls along the Rhine, as well as the Celts and local Kipchaks living there, simply as Germanic tribes, even though they were clearly different peoples. In general, little was known about nations during the Dark Ages. The Byzantines, for example, referred to all non-Byzantines as either Scythians or Celts. They meant, of course, not the nation, but the population of one country or another. "Germanic tribes" generally meant the population of non-Roman and non-Byzantine Europe. There were two main kinds of peoples: forest and steppe. In forested areas, the population lived in ways completely different from those of the steppe. They differed in their everyday lives, economies, languages, religions and clothing. But most importantly, their weapons were different. In chronicles, the "steppe Germans" were called "Tungrys", "Tangrys" and "Tengrys". What do these words tell us? The Avars, Alemanni, Barsili, Bolgars, Burgundians, Goths, Ostrogoths, Gepidae, Huns, Langobards, Utiguri and Kurtiguri - history lists dozens of names and dozens of "Germanic peoples". Here is a line from a Byzantine letter of 572: "[They are] Huns, whom we usually call 'Turkis'." Everything now falls into place. This, of course, is not the only such line. It seems that other "Germanic peoples" spoke Turkic, and were not in any way different from

one another. Their language, customs and history were entirely the same. They enjoyed smithing, fought on horseback, drank koumiss and wore trousers; some wore blond wigs. All these facts are well-known to historians and archaeologists. It is also well-known that in Saxony, the guardian spirit was a dragon. Until the 12th century, this emblem of the Ancient Altai decorated the banners of the "Germans". When historians speak of the wild "Germanic tribes", they are frankly misguided. They don't know that the Turkis earlier lived by a rule, according to which an ulus (clan), upon coming to power, would give their name to the horde. Sometimes, a horde assumed the name of its Khan, or Leader. Sometimes, if there was a reason to do so, they would think up a name for themselves. The Turkis are sharp-tongued and are true masters at turning out apt sobriquets. The names "Gepidae" and "Gepanta", for example, did not spring into being by accident. There is a legend about this: it tells of how the Goths were crossing the sea and some of their fellow countrymen fell behind - their ship was the last to make it to shore. "Gepid" means "lazy". There is also an untranslatable Turkic play on words here: gepi anta literally means "You'll dry out once you're there". Chronicles record that "the Langobards and Avars subsequently separated from the Gepidae". It was quite another story with the Avars, one which is well-known. In the 6th century, this clan fled to Europe from the Altai, and the Great Khan sent an army after them. They chased but couldn't catch them, since they had hidden in the Caucasus. They then moved on to Constantinople, and from there to the Alps, to what is now Bavaria and its inhabitants are called Bavarians. Yet another example. The sons of one khan were named Utigur and Kurtigur. After the death of their father, the two sons went their separate ways. Their hordes started to be called the Utiguri and the Kurtiguri. One shaved the back of their heads; the other, their entire heads. This was how the two "Germanic peoples" differed from one another. Some continued to wear their hair long, or left just their forelocks, that is, oseledets in Turkic. The "Germanic" Kipchaks lived the same life they lived in the Great Steppe and built their cities the same way; they didn't know how to build them otherwise. Their cities live on to this day. One of them is the famous Calais - Turkic for "fortress". It is not made of stone but of wood, with an earthen rampart. The Strait of Pas-de-Calais is named in its honour. The island that it faces is called Albion in Roman chronicles, but the Kipchaks gave it a new name: Inglend. Why Inglend? The prefix ing- in old Turkic words meant "booty". Inglend - or "England" - literally meant "the land of booty". It had been conquered during one of their campaigns. In the 5th and 6th centuries, the famous Anglo-Saxon campaigns took place. It was then that two large hordes made the crossing to the island. They were led by Khan Cerdic and his son, Cynric (does the name "Heinrich" - Henry, Henri, Enrique, Enrico - not come from this?). Horsemen armed with pikes boarded their ships, then disembarked onto the island. This event is stamped indelibly in English history. Legends about those times have been handed down. A young Kipchak was walking along the bank of a river, barely able to move his legs. Thick gold chains hung on his exhausted body; on his wrists were bracelets set with precious gems. The islanders asked him, "What do you need all that treasure for?" "I'm looking for a buyer," he replied. "I don't care what price you pay." Then one of them said: "I'll give you lots of river sand." The youth agreed. He gave this man the gold in exchange for a bag full of river sand and left. Everyone laughed after him, and congratulated their fellow who had so easily duped the foreigner.

The next day, the horsemen came. The villagers were beside themselves. Then, the young man with his bag full of sand stepped forward and began throwing handfuls of sand along the riverbank. The islanders instantly fell silent: they understood that it was now his land, bought for the gold of the day before. As was their tradition, the Turkis encamped, then built a fortress, naming it simply Qand - the stone fortress. No one ever disturbed them after that, since they had acquired the land honestly. Thus began the English pages of Turkic history. The English Kipchaks Much about the Anglo-Saxon campaigns has been diligently forgotten. For centuries tales have been spun about the bestiality of the newcomers. Myths have arisen, one after the other, to the point of absurdity. Today the uneducated public understands the history of Great Britain better than most scholars. There is too much there that has been confused. Britain's early history remains essentially unstudied; the Church, which has itself fabricated the history of England, forbade it. In the 8th century, a Benedictine monk from Jarrow Monastery, Bede the Venerable, wrote a book called "Ecclesiastical History of the English People". With it began the lies that, like scum, have covered the once-clear Thames for ever. There is, however, another, genuinely brilliant work - a work by the great English historian Edward Gibbon. It consists of seven unsurpassed volumes, written in the 18th century. Gibbon wrote of Dark Ages Europe like no one else. He told in detail a bit more than the Church would let him. This "bit more" sufficed thoroughly to earn a rebuke from the Pope and his underlings: The past of Great Britain is so well known to the least educated of my readers and is so obscure for the most scholarly of them, Gibbons noted sadly. Actually, there was no conquest of England; the Britons themselves invited the "most wise Saxons" (as they called the Kipchaks) to their island. They themselves set aside fertile lands for the Saxons, so that they might teach them how to cultivate them. They adopted their unusual breeds of livestock. They recognized Tengri and His cross. None of this was forced on them. For centuries the Turkic spirit has been diligently cleansed from English history. The "roving Huns" that came to the shores of Foggy Albion and became the beloved heroes of the old English ballads, had already been forgotten. It was as though there had never been a preacher in England named Aidan, who revealed to the Britons the faith of the God of Heaven. The pastor roamed through the English countryside with an interpreter; therefore, he could not have been a native Briton. Earlier, in 432, it was from his hands that the most revered of Ireland's saints - St. Patrick - received the cross. It should be noted that in these years there was no Latin cross. It was thought up a century later. At this time, the Christians used the Turkic equilateral cross. Such crosses can still be seen on the monuments of Old England; they are the only ones that archaeologists find. This is a very important historical detail. English people now pronounce the name Aidan ("Bright", in Turkic) a bit differently - "Eden". Let them. However, to their honour, they have never tried to distort the preacher's feat. They have left it unchanged - though, it is true, without many details. Forgotten too are the ancient burial mounds that remain in southern England from the time of Attila, although they haven't disappeared entirely and can still be seen. They are exactly the same as the burial mounds of the Altai - or the Great Steppe. In the town of Sutton-Hoo, in the

county of Suffolk, there is even a royal burial mound, the biggest of the 15 mounds known here. Found there are weapons and gold ornaments. Filigree, genuine works of art. The ornaments are purely Turkic. Especially beautiful are the figurines of deer. They are exact reproductions of Altai deer. It is as though they had been brought from there. And this was in England, the country upon which, as the history books assert, "wild barbarians" descended in the 5th century. Incidentally, the word "London" is of Turkic origin. In the 5th century, it was already telling barefoot British boys that a great many snakes could be found down along the river. "London" stems from the Chinese word lung ("dragon", "snake") plus don. It is better not to discuss here the language of ancient Britain at all. Otherwise, we might ruin the future holiday of the Turkological linguists who will, perhaps, choose to study this mystery. Most probably, the striking similarity of Turkic and ancient British words will attract their attention. There are many such examples. Here are some of the first to have been found: "young" (yang); "at once" (tap); "tack" (tak); "soul" (sulde); Eden (Aidan). Very close in meaning and spelling are the ancient Turkic and British words for "mode" (ton); "to cut" and "notch" (kert and kerf); and "to thunder" (tang tung et-tang). Even the famous Tower of London was connected with the hill upon which it stood, the tau ("hill" or "mountain"). Could the language of ancient Britain have been a dialect of Turkic? "That is the question!" The Anglo-Saxons adopted Latin under pressure from the Church, as their books demonstrate. For example, "The Laws of Ethelbert", the earliest book in Anglo-Saxon, was hand-copied only at the turn of the 6th and 7th centuries in the city of Kent. In it, the laws of the Langobards and other Kipchaks are duplicated, since the new Englishmen lived by them as well. The text is written in runes, as in other old English books. "The Laws of Ethelbert" then mysteriously disappeared. Why? The reason for this is also clear. The books of old England were burned by the Church during the Inquisition. There remain copies, however, which from time to time are found under the most unexpected of circumstances. Such finds are invaluable. By all indicators, the old English literature was very expressive. We know that in the poetic "Bestiary" there are three guardian spirits: the snow leopard, the whale and the partridge. Where did the Anglo-Saxons learn of the snow leopard, which is found only in the Altai? Where did they learn of the Altai customs of indulging spirits? Other "Anglo-Saxon" traditions are entirely Turkic. Especially their beloved clap on the shoulder, without which a Turki is not a Turki. Do the forgetful English know that their traditional game of polo (played on horseback with mallets) was also born in the Altai long before the Great Migration of the Peoples? Only there they played it not with a wooden ball, but with the head of an enemy sealed in a leather bag. It was the ceremonial game of Victory. No, the blood of the Kipchaks did not grow cold in the chilly veins of the Anglo-Saxons. It is just belied by the appearance and behaviour of these people. They're fully capable of getting hot under the collar, and they know how to box - or how to just fight. They even continue to drink tea with milk, like shepherds in their tents, since this is the only way their ancestors drank tea. They love horses and horse racing, because no Kipchak could live without them. In the forests of their beloved England, they hunt foxes and deer just as the Turkis hunted - on horseback, since they neither knew how nor wanted to do it differently. Englishmen are also experts at falconry. Where did the inhabitants of Albion, on the edge of the Roman Empire, get all these things? They are an interesting people: they guard their traditions without understanding that these are remnants of their earlier culture - a culture that has been forgotten. Or, more exactly, one they were ordered to forget.

For example, they hung on to their old monetary symbols and coins to the very last. Their "confusing" money, which often evoked derision, was also an echo of the steppe era. Thus, the English word "shilling" came from the Turkic "sheleg", or "non-ambulatory coin", which is also made up of twelve smaller, "ambulatory" coins. "Penny" came from "peneg", or "small coin". And, of course, the word "sterling" itself comes from a monetary weight unit of the Turkis, the "sytyr". A "sytyrling" was also equal to twelve "shelegs". All this was exactly the same for the English. The similarity of the Turkic word "manat" and the English word "money" only reinforces this observation, since they both mean exactly the same thing. For centuries now a bag of sheep's wool has been kept in the English Parliament. The very same was a symbol of authority for the Kipchaks: out in the Great Steppe, this is what those elected as judges sat on… And those who wear frock coats don't know that they come from the Altai. Meanwhile, the neighbours of the English - the Scots, who wear kilts and love to play the bagpipes - have a completely different way of life and cannot stand anything "Turkic". These things are, therefore, alien to them. Neither did the other nation of Great Britain, the Welsh, whom the English themselves referred to as foreigners, adopt anything Turkic. They have a completely different way of making merry - one that is too boring for a true Turki. The English Kipchaks now parade about importantly and self-confidently, like peacocks. They've forgotten what their ancestors from the Altai taught them: "Don't wear other people's pants; you won't be able to cover yourself with them". This is true folk wisdom. With Christ, the Benedictine monks dressed the Anglo-Saxons in other people's pants, but they couldn't cover them up entirely. They didn't make a new people. The monks' leader, Augustine, became the first Anglo-Saxon bishop in 597. The power of the Church was confirmed in England from the hand of the Pope. It soon became known as first among the Catholic lands. By the fourth or fifth generation, it would look upon its "wild" forebears with revulsion. Everything happened exactly as it had with the Langobards and Burgundians. The monks disembarked on the island of Tan, along the Kentish coast. They went to the King, knowing that his wife had secretly become a Catholic before their marriage and had offered shelter to monks. Soon, Ethelbert, not yet a king but still not a khan, adopted Catholicism, and subsequently so did his subjects. From this time forward, they carried out the will of the Pope, "Christ's Representative on Earth". True, out of stubbornness, other Anglo-Saxons kept two altars in their churches: one for Tengri, and one for Christ. This, however, solved nothing; the people's soul had been sold. The argument over whose altar was better went on for a very long time; it was not settled until 663. The Romans once again contrived to promise faithful Anglo-Saxons the Key to Heaven, if they would keep but one altar in their churches. This was done, and England became Christian. Their dual faith was kept all the same: the norm is embodied to this day in the Anglican Church, while the Catholic Church remains a dark shadow of England's past. Its stamp is indelible. Islam The highest award among Catholics is the Order of St. Gregory. It is a copy of the medals of the Ancient Altai, the cross of Tengri. Symbolic? Of course. Just as it is symbolic that, while preserving the old Altai traditions, the Greco-Roman Church wiped out all memory of their

origins. They did this not just in England, but everywhere. They did this because the old faith would have interfered with their rule over the people. Both the Roman Pope and the Byzantine Patriarch did everything they could to achieve their ends. They dragged the Turkic spiritual traditions through the mud, while dreaming up their own, pagan traditions. For example, things that had belonged to Christ suddenly appeared in the churches from out of nowhere, along with the physical remains of his disciples. People began praying to these things. Such "religion" is in no way different from paganism. There was hardly any church that did not have its own relics. For a time this was carried to absurdity. Dozens of heads of John the Baptist were being kept in churches. One winemaker, having learned that the wine in his cellars had gone sour, collected a drop from each jug in a container and put it near the remains of St. Stephen. The next day, the flavour had been restored to the wine. Thus was born the "miracle" of St. Stephen. Pagans in the guise of Christian priests were the masters everywhere. The faith that was born in the Caucasus in the 4th century was forgotten and faded into the background, like everything else Turkic. It was being altered. On orders from the Church, Europeans called themselves "Christians", but they had little in common. Differences remained. Dark Ages Europe seethed like a volcano. All that was Turkic, Roman, Greek and Celtic merged and melted, only to come pouring out and cool like obsidian - glassy and brittle. It would cool for centuries. It was completely different in the Near East. The church there also searched for itself, its face and its power. Not in paganism, however, but in philosophy - in seeking the meaning of life. The image of Tengri glowed on the horizon; it was not overshadowed by idols. Any quest, as is well known, sooner or later bears fruit. The fruit of the free thought of the Near East was a phenomenon that would go down in human history as the short and powerful word Islam - teachings handed down by the Almighty. They first learned of this in Arabia, at the same time that Pope Gregory the Great was carrying out his desperate attack on the Langobards. In 609 divine revelations were made to the Arab Muhammad. They were then recognized as new teachings from God, while Muhammad himself was recognized as God's Prophet. Unfortunately, not much is known about the Prophet. Almost nothing reliable has been preserved. His life has become legend, made up of words and images. It is not in the power of science to either confirm or disprove these. This means that all might well have been just as Moslems say: Muhammad was illiterate. In his youth, he travelled with caravans across the desert, then managed the business affairs of a widow, whom he later married. One day, he was surprised to hear distant voices. For three years he had these revelations and told others about them. However, no one in the city of Mecca would hear him out: people could see no sense in the new religion. To them, its prayers proved to be unbearable, while tithing one-tenth of one's income was an outrageous injustice. Paganism suited the city's people just fine. Alas, a new religion doesn't automatically appear in the wake of divine revelations. Society itself determines whether or not a religion survives, and what kind of religion it must be. Muhammad was recognized only by his closest family, and they formed a community by themselves. It grew slowly. Ten years later it had barely 100 Moslems. Today, tens of millions of people - entire countries - follow Islam. Interest in it is immense. Everyone notes the mystery of its birth: Did, could, illiterate camel drivers come up with, out of thin air, Teachings that have no equal in the philosophical world?

There clearly is a mystery here, one to which only the Koran can provide the answer. The Koran is the priceless treasure of Islam, the Book containing the Revelations and Teachings of the Prophet. It is the Supreme Law of the Moslem. Its completed text appeared only at the turn of the 7th and 8th centuries, almost fifty years after the death of Muhammad himself. Like Islam, it took time to mature; after all, such teachings do not congeal overnight. This is how the world ruled by Time and the Spirit operates. Hundreds of books have been written on the history of Islam, but nothing is entirely clear. The theologians of different countries view early Islam differently. They argue about Truth and the Teachings, and adduce arguments that contradict one another. But a religion cannot have two histories. As a rule, there is only one history for everything. "Bismi-llyakhi-r-rakhmani-r-rakhim!" - "In the name of Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate!" One's thoughts proceed from the Almighty; as it was, it is now and forever shall be. In this book no one expresses doubts, but a Moslem must believe the Koran, not people, no matter what clothing they wear. The "Arab version" of Islam now known (like the "Greek version" of Christianity) looks a great deal like myth - a big myth that took shape only by the 19th century. This is what History shows, and History cannot be changed. Moslems had apparently already forgotten that Islam, in Dark Ages Europe, was called the "Egyptian heresy". This was no accident: It was practically the same as the teachings of the Egyptian and Abyssinian churches. Egypt, then a colony of Byzantium, saw in Islam a path to freedom, since "Whoever has God, has power". It was the spiritual traditions of Egypt and Ethiopia, not Arabia, that became the soil of Islam. The new faith first took root among the Christians - people who had already recognized the God of Heaven. The Near East no longer wanted to be the slave of Byzantium. It needed Islam. It did not betray Christianity - the religion of its fathers - but freed the faith from the power of the Greeks. It preserved the pure image of the God of Heaven, and with it drew the people of Byzantium's colonies. It is positively striking that the image of the God of Heaven in "Egyptian" Christianity and in Islam were entirely the same. It could not have been otherwise. Religion is part of a people's culture and morality; it does not arise in a wilderness, and it does not join a people as one with just words - not even if they're the truest words in the world. It is not enough to hear divine revelations; one must understand them and take them to other people. Islam is the East's great creation. Its origin is Tengri, for people first raised their eyes to Heaven two and a half thousand years ago - to the Eternal Blue Heaven. Islam helped Egypt and the entire Near East to obtain their freedom. The influence of the Turkis there was enormous. The fact that they ceased to remember this in the 19th century does not mean that the Turkis were not there. They were! Let us recall one of their ways of addressing Tengri: "Alla" (from al, or "hand") - O Giver and Taker. Only the Turks held their palms before them and, looking at the Altai sky, said Alla a thousand years before the Moslems. This is how it came to be in Islam. The Altai knew 99 ways of addressing Tengri. In Islam too, there are 99 ways of addressing Allah. They are the same. "Allah-il-Allah!" say the Moslems when beginning a prayer. "O God (Allah)! Come down to us, O Lord (il-Allah)!" This is a pure Turkic phrase, common for a Turkic Moslem even today. He rarely says "Allah" with the aspiration used by Arabs when pronouncing the word; most often, he says "Tengri" when addressing the Almighty. Old people remember the words of their grandfathers. Islam teaches that Allah is the Almighty. Like Tengri.

Allah created flora, fauna and man. Like Tengri. They pray to Allah while prostrating themselves. Like to Tengri. How are they different? Monotheism is the central concept of Islam. But it was the Turks who brought monotheism to the Western world: God the Great Spirit, the Creator of the World and All That Is in It. There are no gods other than He. Islam kept the angels and demons who inhabit the realm between God and Man. The people of the Altai had always known them. There even remains the Fallen Angel, the lord of evil spirits - Iblis. Nothing has been forgotten, nothing has disappeared from the ancient faith of the Turkic people. "There is no God but Allah," say the Moslems. This is exactly what the people of the Altai said, word for word: "There is no God but God." What, then, really distinguished early Islam from the Turkic faith? Almost nothing. Only the ritual, which the Moslems did not have in the 8th century, and which they had to find. It took centuries for the ritual to be established. The Koran The Koran is, of course, the main achievement of Islam. A holy book, it contains the answers to all of life's questions, even to the most difficult. How did it come into being? This is an extremely important question, since there were no books on the Arabian Peninsula at all - its people did not know writing. There were sacred books among the ancient Turkis; the peoples of the East were learning from them as early as the 1st century, during the reign of the Khan Erke, and Europe would follow. They then simply vanished. Where? Did they really disappear? The answer can be plainly seen in Surah 108 of the Koran: "We gave Gheser to you as a gift, so pray ye to The Lord…" it begins. The meaning of this verse is deep and difficult to fathom. The Arabs did not know then (do not know now) who "Gheser" was, which is most striking! This "incomprehensible word" has always evoked disagreement and arguments among the translators of the Koran. They even pronounce it differently - Kewser, Kawsar. They also give different int erpretations of it - "abundance", "comfortable circumstances". Could the name of the Prophet of the Turkic people been inserted into the text of the Koran if it hadn't been known already? Such things simply do not happen, because they are impossible. Something is obviously wrong here: one cannot write a book if one does not know the alphabet, and one cannot solve a mathematical problem if one does not know the numbers. This means that the word "Gheser" in the Koran is connected with some very important event - one that is now either forgotten or has been deliberately ignored. There are other blank spots in the text of the Koran. They, too, will reveal their true meaning only when the history of the Turkic people assumes its rightful place in the history of mankind. One cannot permanently "forget" about a people that gave the world its faith in the God of Heaven. The truth will triumph sooner or later, no matter what. Scholars have long given their attention not merely to the "incomprehensible" words of the Koran, but to the uniquely written text itself. The Arabs did not write this way. They had other ways of structuring phrases. Science has concluded that the Koran is clearly not "Arab speech". The ancient wisdom tells us the same thing: "One cannot hide a camel among sheep". This is

completely true. In the Koran, for example, there are lines that coincide with texts of the Talmud and the Bible. Is this surprising? No; the Koran is a collection of divine revelations. It is a work that was inspired by the words of the Prophet Muhammad. It took decades to compose the Koran and to polish its verses. Dozens of books were then being translated into Arabic: Turkic, Egyptian, Syrian, Persian, Hebrew - books of all kinds. In them they sought the grains of wisdom. These translations have been dubbed "Arab literature", but they remain translations. They were music to the Moslems' ears, since they represented the new culture of a new East, free from Byzantine despotism. One translation was titled "Gheser-efsane" ("Hasar-afsana"), which contained Turkic fairy tales and legends. At the end of the 8th century it acquired a new name: "A Thousand and One Nights". Can one then conclude that Sheherezade told her stories in Turkic? Sinbad the Sailor, as also becomes clear, spoke Turkic, too, since he knew no other language…. The science of History is surprising, indeed. It not only uncovers great secrets, it also proves that Koran is "a collection of wisdom, written in the language of revelations", and a repository of "lost" treasures. This book was not created by human hands! Its parables and brilliant verses were the fruits of high literature - fruits that had taken centuries to ripen. Like the ornaments from a steppe burial mound, they could be neither imitated nor excelled. There had never been anything like them before in the Near East - only among the Turkis. The Koran is made up of verses (aiats) that, like sparkling gems, fill its books (surahs) with light and wisdom. Aiat is a Turkic word: ai is the imperative of "to explain", while at means "name" or "title". It is a phrase (or fragment of a phrase) that is read aloud in a singsong voice. The Turkis, as is well-known, read out their prayers only in such a voice. This was the tradition of the Ancient Altai. The Koran's text itself started to be written down in 633; it took decades to complete. Hundreds of holy pages were written; to this day not a word, not one comma, has been changed. From whose words, however, was the Koran composed? This is unknown. It is known that after the death of Muhammad Arabia reverted to paganism. The Arabs were the first to forget their own Prophet. Even while he was alive, they did not know him well. It was a memorable event indeed when, in 637, the Caliph Omar, following his victory over the Persians, asked his best warriors to recite just one verse of the Prophet Muhammad. No one could. Only one was able to whisper the prayer "Basmala". This is all that those who would spread Islam knew of it. It is believed that the first lines of the Koran began to be written down from the words of an old man, the Arab Zeid-ibn-Tabit (or Zaid-ibn-Sabit), who had survived the Battle of Yemam. This may be true. He was then only 22. In 651, now an old man, he finished his work. It was not, however, the Koran. It is also said that secretaries, who knew how to write, were always to be found alongside the Prophet. This is, however, highly improbable; where could they have come from in an illiterate land? Even if it were true, what was Zeid-ibn-Tabit doing for two decades? Everything had already been written down before him…. This means that what happened was completely different.

The text of the Koran took shape closer to the 8th century. This is a historically verifiable fact. Everything else is conjecture which, over the centuries, has been transformed into immutable truth. A great deal is not understood here. In what script could the Koran have been written? This is also a very important question. Without an answer to it, something remains as inexplicable fictitious - as before. The so-called Arabic script was, in the early Dark Ages, a "divine, secret text" - the writing of the Turkis. They called it by a name which sounded very like "cipher", or "secret code". This way of writing was also known among Christians, but only to a select few - the Copts. It was unknown to the Arabs. This is why the role of the "Coptic scribe" is reflected in the Moslems' well-known proverbs, Hadith. This was far from accidental. Could Zaid-ibn-Tabit, a simple man from Medina, have known about the secret text of the Turkis? Certainly not. What about the Prophet's secretaries? Yes, but only under one condition: if they were bishops from the Near Eastern Church. They were indeed. In 615 Muhammad, as is well known, sent his people to the Abyssinian Church. The Prophet bade Christians to come to him, calling them his coreligionists. He asked the Copts to "help true believers find piety", and to "take onto their shoulders other concerns of the Moslems". These "concerns" were connected with their system of writing. This can be confirmed not just from Hadith, but from their way of writing itself. Scholars have established that Arabic script assumed its present form only in the 8th-9th centuries, when the Koran had already been written. The "divine text" was then abolished, so that it would be forgotten. The new Arabic script was made accessible to the ordinary person and ceased to be a cipher. However, a new question then arises: Were the pages of the very first Koran - the ones penned by Zeid-ibn-Tabit, which then mysteriously disappeared - not written in Turkic? Was it not these that were forbidden and burned when Caliph Omar ordered that only the Korans written in Arabic should be used? This is why there are no copies written down during his lifetime of the words of the Prophet Muhammad. They, like the text of the first Koran itself, could have been written only in the "divine" Turkic script. They could not have been any different. These forbidden texts survived for several centuries, as the Moslem Turks handed them down from generation to generation, like relics…. It is possible that some still exist. The Moslems have another holy book, the Sunna. It supplements the Koran and records the deeds and pronouncements of the Prophet. This book was completed by the 9th century. With it ended Islam's era of "Egyptian Christianity", and the former's true independence began. The teachings of Muhammad had become a full-fledged religion. Not all Moslems agree with the text of the Sunna. Those who accept it unreservedly are called Sunnites; they are in the majority. However, this means absolutely nothing: in the Islamic world, Shiites are no less respected and authoritative. The authors of the Sunna were two great Turkis, al-Bukhari and Muslim. They most certainly did not live in Arabia. For its depth of thought, al-Bukhari's work was called Sakhikh ("The True Tome"). After the Koran, there is no book more authoritative; such is the opinion of well-known Eastern scholars. Virtually all the greatest Moslem scholars came, incidentally, from the Turkic world. No one knew the teachings of Muhammad better than they. This is a recognized fact. With their books these people raised eternal monuments to themselves and to their people. The Arabians had never had people of such high knowledge. Among them there were not even

proper clothes for the adherents of the new religion: their robes were good only for riding on camels. The Turkis gave them the clothing of a Moslem. Turbans, fur hats and fezes; baggy pants and shirts open at the neck; short black jackets (kapi) and caftans: they arrived just in time. Of course, the climate in the Near East is different from that of the Altai; they, therefore, made the clothes lighter. Their cut, however, remained the same as before - virtually identical, in fact. Everyone could recognize a Moslem by his new clothes. Officials were distinguished by their long shirts with open collars, slit down the chest, while clergymen wore cloaks and tailasans (from the Turkic talu san - "special honour"). All Moslems, men and women, stood out in their baggy pants, which were especially highly valued. Turkic dress was firmly established in the Near East from that time on. For example, the Caliph al-Muktadir went to his death clothed in a caftan. These pages of Islamic history are distant, but not forgotten. No one knows them any more because by the 19th century the world had changed to the Turkis' disadvantage. They were hated by everyone, including themselves: the Ottoman Empire, the last bastion of the Turkic world, fell. Earlier, however, in the 9th century, Moslems remembered well the words of the Almighty and were not embarrassed to repeat them: "I have an army that I named the Turkis and placed them in the East; when I am angered by a people, I give my army power over that nation." Nice words. A great scholar of the Islamic world, Mahmud of Kashgar quoted them in his books. They contain the entire history of the Great Migration of the Peoples. They also tell of the apocalypse with which the destruction of the Roman Empire began. Here, too, is Attila, who was called the Scourge of God; here, too, is Islam, which the Pope looked upon as "God's retribution". Who knows whether these memorable words contain not just the past of the Turkic world, but its future as well? The Signs of Islam Earlier, there were seven ways of reading the Koran, and each one was correct. This means that seven peoples (or, more likely, seven cultures) created Islam and its traditions. One of them brought to the religion the ritual of circumcision; another, the prohibition against pork; still others gave it its books, morality, architecture, clothing and ceremonies. The contributions of different peoples to Islam were varied, while the Arabians were far removed from it. What could pagans whose ablutions were even performed with sand have contributed? Once a year, in the spring, their tribes convened in Mecca by the Black Stone. There the tribal leaders set up their idols and prayed to them. With these prayers, the New Year began. Of course, the Arabians knew about the religious beliefs of the Jews; they were also familiar with the fire-worshipping Persians and with the Christians as well. They did not, however, adopt their faith; an alien fire could not warm their souls. A people receive a new religion when they see its might. It has always been this way. The Armenians, Greeks and Romans believed in the God of Heaven only when they had seen his power. Nevertheless, the Arabian Desert did play a role of its own. The philosophers of the Near East selected it as a corner of the world inaccessible to the Greeks. It was there that they planted the saplings of the new faith. The adherents of Islam were labelled Moslems, or "those who have given themselves to God". People from various Byzantine colonies together sampled the

air of freedom, but they had no common language and no shared culture. This is why clothing, especially at first, played such an important role for Moslems: it was only their attire that distinguished them from others. In adopting Turkic fashions, they began to resemble those who had helped them find the God of Heaven, and with Him, their longedfor freedom. This is the way it was. With Islam, the first nation of free Moslems had appeared by the beginning of the 7th century - the Caliphate, which was not ruled over by the Greeks. This was also a sign of freedom. Its borders soon seemed endless and stretched far from Mecca - to the remote edges of the lands of Central Asia, the Seven Rivers, Mesopotamia, the Near East and North Africa. The ideas of Islam also took root in part of Italy, and in Spain and Southern France, where the Kipchaks lived. In them, people saw hope for distancing themselves from the growing power of the Church, and willingly let the winds of change into their homes and cities. Emissaries of the Prophet Muhammad visited the kaganates of Desht-i-Kipchak, Khazariya, and the Volga Bulgars (Bulgaria). The new faith was adopted peacefully everywhere, since it united people against the hated Byzantines. The city-dwellers of Egypt and Syria, for example, met the Prophet's emissaries ecstatically, with music and song. As though they were heroes. Even the Popes were forced to enter into secret correspondence with the Moslems in the hope that they would lend him assistance and their support. They would indeed end up supporting him; they were close allies until the 11th century. Once, they even saved the Pope from certain death. Much has been written about the Caliphate. However, politics has always interfered with telling the truth, sometimes forcing one to overlook that which is most important. For example: Who were they, these fearless warriors of Islam? Why did they fight on horseback, with sabres and pikes? From where in the Near East, in the colonies of Byzantium, did this cavalry - and the crushing victories it won - suddenly appear? The answer lies in the word "Arabs". This is what Moslems were called in the Dark Ages, and all of them were included in this one word. It made no difference whether one was talking about the peoples of Arabia, Egypt or Syria. So, a Moslem was an Arab. Dozens of different peoples became "Arabs" at a single stroke, including the Near Eastern Turks - the warriors of Islam. It was they who had raised the blue banner of the new religion to the light of the Eternal Blue Heavens, and they now began to illuminate the domes of mosques - the Moslems' temples. The new religion of the East stood on ancient Turkic foundations. Its symbol, naturally, was the sign of Tengri - the cross (adji). True, in 1376 the Arabs (Turkis of the Mamluk Dynasty) substituted a green banner for the blue. However, they were able to retain the symbol of the faith by disguising it under an eightpointed star. With this, the warriors of the Caliphate went into battle and won victory after victory. Only they, however, were privy to the secret - no one else. In the Caliphate they viewed the equilateral cross differently at different times. For example, in the 7th century, the Governor Muawiyah decided to mint special "Moslem" coins from silver and gold, but the people rejected them. "There's no cross on the coins," they said. In the Caliphate the cross was found not just on coins. It - the sign of Heaven - distinguished the Moslems' banners from all others. Until 1024 Islam permitted the day of the Holy Cross to be celebrated. The celebrations were opened by the Caliph himself. It was a major national

holiday. The Dark Ages battle between Moslems and Christians for the sign of the cross was waged especially cruelly. Moslems forced their way into churches and knocked the crosses off the walls, then erased all traces of them. The Christians responded in kind. Everyone wanted to be closer to the God of Heaven. In the 8th century the Europeans began to quietly yield in the battle; they even decided to turn away from the cross of Tengri, having come up with Greek and Latin crosses. They had virtually no choice in the matter, however. Only the Armenians, who had changed little over the centuries, kept the cross of Tengri. The East and West battled desperately for ownership of the cross. Their struggle was distinguished by its surprising passion, since there were Kipchaks living in both places. It was, however, no longer their sign, and with all their might they wanted to get it back. Thus began the Crusades. True, later on, little would be remembered about these campaigns or about the history of the cross, and then only rarely. It was believed that this knowledge had been forgotten. Islam was also distinguished by its new architecture. It is Time, sleeping in stone, over which the centuries have no power. No traces of the first mosques have been preserved, for there never were any. It was on a muddy square, surrounded by a stone wall that Moslems first prayed with the Prophet. There then appeared buildings of Egyptian architecture, but these were too simple and inexpressive "They're something like a barn or a stable," it was said at the time. The Moslems then turned to the Turkic traditions. In Jerusalem in 691, the Kipchaks built the first of their new mosques, the Kubbat as-Sakhra, now known as the Mosque of the Rock. It is simply magnificent - a huge domed temple that resembles a giant yurt. The mosque's elegant octagonal foundations, laid in brick, have never failed to thoroughly delight those who visit it. When an identical mosque was erected in Medina, the citizens cried out in astonishment: "It's a kilisa!" - that is, a Turkic temple. Thus began Moslem architecture - or, more precisely, it began much earlier, back in the Altai. It came with the Kipchaks across the Great Steppe and spread throughout Europe. In Azerbaijan, for example, in the village of Lekit, there is a unique Turkic temple of the 5th century, a true architectural Mecca. Almost 100 years after its construction (in 527, to be precise), the Kipchaks copied it exactly with the Church of Sergius and Vakkh in Constantinople. Then, in 547, the Cathedral of St. Vitius was built following its design in Ravennia, the capital of the Italian Turks. Except for its dimensions and special atmosphere, the Mosque of Kubbat as-Sakhra is virtually identical to these. Its dome, which recalls a yurt, and its foundations, which duplicate those of the aila, were for the Kipchaks images of the Altai - images of home. It contained all the warmth of their native land and all the majesty of Heaven. At the dawn of Islam, the Near East learned too of mazars (mausoleums), where distinguished people were interred. It was said that prayers read here reached Allah more quickly. Crowds thronged to the new shrines. A mausoleum is a steppe burial mound, only made out of stone. One other ancient Turkic custom became part of the East: Memorials (turbs) began to be erected on the graves of prominent Moslems - monuments like the stone figures of the Ancient Altai, only simpler. The dead were mourned according to Turkic customs, because this is what ritual demanded.

The world changed during the Dark Ages - imperceptibly, but visibly. In it, Turkic culture sprouted like the young grass of spring. It would sometimes appear suddenly and unexpectedly, in places that no one would ever have dreamed. For example, when the Arabs learned about, and adopted, numbers. Of course, we are not talking here of numbers in general, but of those which are now called "Arabic". They were in fact Turkic numerals, and were introduced by the Caliph Walid. He convinced his subjects that knowing how to write letters and messages, and how to calculate one's income and expenses, was an art that glorified the nation. It was this new art that led the Moslems to great discoveries in mathematics and physics. Arabic numerals are the same as Turkic runes and were already well-known even before the birth of Christ. At that time, Chinese travellers visited the Altai and were surprised by the simplicity of the Turkic numerals. They expressed their surprise in a book on how to govern a country, a work that has survived. The Arab Caliphate was indisputably created by the Kipchaks and their culture. It was the Turkis who determined its Fate. Sultan Mahmud Until 750 the city of Damascus was the capital of the Caliphate, and the ruling dynasty was the Umayyad family. They were then overthrown - not by the Kipchak Turkis, but by the Oguz Turkis. They brought the Abbasid Dynasty to the throne, and, in doing so, seized the reins of power. The new rulers were called "Iranians", but this is entirely incorrect. They could not possibly have been Iranians. Iran did not influence the Caliphate at all; its native inhabitants remained fire-worshippers, not Moslems. Different peoples of different faiths lived in the lands of Ancient Persia. They were, however, ruled over by the Moslems - or, more exactly, the Turkis of the Oguz Dynasty. It was they who sat upon the throne of the Caliphate. The new rulers began to do everything differently. In 762 they moved the capital to Baghdad. This was far from the only project they would undertake. The city was laid out on a plain and built up from scratch. This was important symbolically, as was the new city's name: it came from Bogdo, the ancient Turkic way of addressing Tengri. The Abbasids wanted to do everything differently. They proceeded to do so. For example, earlier, every Moslem had the right to speak his native language, honour his ancestors and celebrate the holidays of his people. He now had to say good-bye to all this, forever. The faithful were obliged to speak only Arabic - the language of the Prophet. Having been labelled Arabs, they forgot about everything they had had earlier. Of course, they forgot it all in the name of Islam. Only the Turkis could have come up with something like this. "When among frogs, become a frog," was their rule of life. Without stopping to think about the death of the East and its peoples, they ordered everyone else to live the same way. The alien Oguz quickly got the upper hand over the Caliphate's provinces, turning them into subjected frogs. Arabic soon displaced all other languages. It was a peculiar blend of languages, very far from the language of the Koran. In Egypt, it was not spoken quite the same way that it was in Syria or on the Arabian Peninsula. Although they all spoke Arabic, people sometimes understood each other poorly. Things did not stop there. The Moslems began to invent for themselves an Arab genesis. The

rulers adopted such laws so that the different nations would forever forget the past and become immersed in ignorance - a kind of jahiliya. In the Near East, a genuine tragedy was being played out: the Moslem was, so to speak, being forced to be "born again". Out of the throes of this process, a new people "came into the world". Everything happened exactly the way it had in Europe. The same volcano in which other people's cultures had melded was still bubbling. The Turkis stood both here and at the wells of misfortune. In assigning to them the role of creators, Heaven had apparently decided that this should be so. The Caliphate's rulers tossed their own into the mouth of the volcano first - the Turkis. They understood that they were creating a country not for Turkis, but for all the peoples of the East. They saw their own wisdom reflected in this. In breaking down their identity, they were readying themselves for victory over the Byzantines. They needed a strong state. It still did not exist, since there was no unity among the people. The rulers, therefore, laid themselves out. The old dynasty that had been overthrown never risked making this great sacrifice, and were, therefore, unable to hang onto the Caliphate. Under it, the power of the Moslems was slipping away, like water into sand. They began fighting one another for leadership of the Moslem world. Revolts, wars, sects, arguments - people could see that these were not strengthening the country. Just the opposite: they were destroying it. The Oguz immediately brought peace for all. However, the new rulers forgot the ancient wisdom of the Altai: "Rearing a stranger won't give you a son." Despite enormous sacrifices, they still did not create a new people. The Arab world would forever remain one of disputes and struggles for leadership. The Moslems would not be unified even a thousand years later. The Caliphate was woven out of conflict. It would soon collapse, never to be united again. Its tragedy was shared by the people. For example. Egyptians, having begun to use Arabic, forgot their native tongue; and the Copts the original Egyptians! - since they remained Christians, became aliens in their own land. Islam and Christianity divided the Egyptian people into different communities. The stranger's son remained a stranger. This is what happened in the Caliphate. It all happened because, even though they spoke of unity, the new rulers didn't really want any. Thus, for example, in 833 the new Caliph, having called together a number of sages, asked: "How many years will I reign?" Their answers varied. Just one, the oldest and greyest, quietly said: "Exactly as long as the Turkis want you to". Everyone laughed at this bitter truth: The elite Baghdad Guard had always been made up of Turkis. It had been this way earlier and would be later. The fate of Sultan Mahmud of Gazni, the "Iron Turki", is especially interesting. The Hindus called him "the Tatar", since they had worked out for themselves the secrets of the Arab Caliphate. Their knowledge of the Turkis was not hearsay. The aristocracy of Northern India still spoke Turkic - it was their native tongue - and needed no interpreters. Sultan Mahmud is a well-known figure in the East. There are few who could compare with him. In the 11th century he consolidated the Moslem lands in Northern India. It was under him that the Caliphate reached its apex of power. Neither mountains nor deserts, nor rivers, nor the thundering war elephants of the Hindus could stop this hero of Islam. He kept on advancing to the East and was always victorious. The Sultan was mighty on both land and sea. He easily smashed the Indians' army, then crushed their navy on the River Ind. The Sultan's victories reverberated throughout the Dark Ages world: Christians, Buddhists, Zoroastrians and simple pagans rushed to become Moslems. The people knew that he who wins is the one who's right.

The Arabs had won; this meant that their faith was the true faith. Sultan Mahmud greatly elevated the Islamic world. He did so not by war, but by scholars, poets, translators, thinkers and philosophers. He made them a part of his court and then opened up libraries for the people. The number of cultured people grew with each passing year, multiplying the glory of the Islamic East. A multi-lingual suite was always in attendance around the Sultan: Turkis, Persians, Hindus, Arabs and Chinese. This was a charismatic leader, a pearl in the crown of the Caliphate - the most powerful Turki in its history. His father, Sabuktegin, was "a slave of the slave, who was himself a slave under the Lord and Master of the Faithful". This is how the monarch referred to himself. Who were these magnificent men, these "slaves"? One was governor of the province of Transoksiana and Khorasan; the second was a state minister and general; the third was head of the city and province of Gazni. It was from here that Mahmud of Gazni came. An aristocrat of the highest order now sat upon the throne of the Caliphate. Brave. Strong. Intelligent. The true ideal of a leader. Once, in India, he raised his mace against an idol. The horrified Hindus promised him mountains of treasure if only he would not touch the idol. The Sultan answered quietly: "Your entreaties are persuasive. But Mahmud is not a trafficker in idols…" He then added: "What will future generations say about me?" His strength tripled, he then dealt the statue a shattering blow. Under Sultan Mahmud, the sun shone especially bright in the sky. It was at this time that the great Ibn Sina (Avicenna) translated the works of Aristotle, thereby rescuing them from oblivion. He learned Ancient Greek for just this purpose. This magnificent scholar also had a distinguished medical practice. His books on medicine were well-known throughout Dark Ages Europe, and generations of physicians learned their craft from them. In addition, he was famous, too, as a great connoisseur of the arts. Al-Biruni, a forgotten genius of the East, also revealed his talents at this time. He already knew that the Earth was round and that it revolved around the Sun. He proved this mathematically 500 years before Copernicus, thereby revolutionising astronomy. Of equal stature was Ibn-al-Haisam, famous for his book "Treasures of Optics". He gave the world the idea of the telescope and of eyeglasses. In the 12th century, his works were translated into Latin, making them the property of Europe. Under Mahmud, al-Farabi, who had once translated the works of the ancient philosophers of the West - which were at that time banned in Europe - came again to light. Al-Farabi had had a rare mind: He was called the Second Teacher, second only to Aristotle. The Talents returned to the Earth under Sultan Mahmud. It was at this time that a new writing paper was invented - the same material on which we write today. This was necessary because so much was happening: chemistry, physics and literature were all flourishing. The sky brightened over the world and became clearer. Precision of word and brilliance of thought came once again to be valued. The famous poem "Shakh-name", along with other pearls of word and image, acquired new life. There was a flourishing of science, literature and creativity. The Golden Age of Moslem culture had arrived, and people savoured all that was beautiful. It was a Turkic renaissance that would last for many decades, and give the world more than one poet; Nizami Gyandzhevi was born of it. It was a time when stars of the first magnitude shone in the firmament of the East. As a youth, the Sultan himself dabbled in the creative arts. At his behest, a new history of the Caliphate was written. In it, Mahmud declared all Turkis to

be Moslems and Arabs, in order to maintain the "bazaar of eloquence" - as he himself wrote in a work of his own. This is how Turkic culture was "transformed" into Arab culture. No one any longer made any distinction between the two. The national memory, however, preserved that which had almost vanished into the depths of the ages. Moslems had always divided science and knowledge into their own and others'. Theirs was Arab/Moslem, while others' was "foreign" or "the knowledge of the ancients" - that is, the Turkis', they said. Philosophy, mathematics, geography, astronomy, mineralogy, chemistry, physics - they all began in the Altai. Glory be to Tengri, who has preserved the truth of those distant times. The Turkic Caliphate The Oguz in the Caliphate were "doomed to triumph". They had been nurtured by the Ancient Altai - the spiritual homeland of the Turkic people. Central Asia was a land of artisans, poets and scholars - the heir to Kushan Khanate. When the Moslem cavalry arrived in Central Asia in the 7th century, the Oguz, once they had learned of Islam, understood that their hour had struck. It didn't strike loudly, but they heard it. It was no accident that among the Ancient Turkis, oguz meant "wise". There was deep meaning in this. It was quite true that they couldn't defend themselves in open battle. Many of them paid for this with their lives or were captured and made slaves. This did happen. However: like babies demand their mothers' milk, Islam in the 7th century needed knowledge, wisdom and learning. In those years the Moslem faith was still just a sect of Christianity. No one in the Caliphate had any idea how to create an independent religion. The rulers sought to create external differences; for example, they ordered Christians to wear clothing with yellow markings. Or to travel the Caliphate's roads on donkeys. If they rode on horseback, they had to do so side-saddle, like women. They couldn't think of anything more clever than this. They had no fresh ideas, and no new knowledge. At that time, the Oguz had it all. The Oguz knew little of Christianity or of Western religion in general. This ignorance helped them to create their own unique faith, since they had nothing to which to compare it! They created it themselves, relying solely on their own knowledge and traditions. They were inspired only by the Altai and its Eternal Blue Heaven. It was the Oguz who made Islam, Islam - the independent religion. New rituals appeared among the Moslems, and their faith acquired a face very different from that of Christianity. Meanwhile, the Caliphate got a new leader - the Sultan, who also was unlike anyone else. The Sultan and the Caliph held all power in the country - temporal and spiritual. This was something completely new for the East, but quite common for the Turkic world. Everything became as it was in the Turkic nation of the Ancient Altai. Sultan means "power": he was the temporal ruler of the Moslem world. This was the title given to Mahmud of Gazni. It is curious that in the 12th century some wanted to change the title to Shahinshah, but anyone saying these words would have been killed: Shahinshah means "King of Kings" and refers to the Almighty. The Moslems did not want to call their ruler this, since they didn't wish to have a "pope" - someone who was "God's Representative on Earth". They were anti-pagan. This is how Islam grew - with its own culture and code of honour. Sultan Mahmud proved their superiority with his deeds. Once, a poor man approached him to complain that an aristocratic warrior had taken his house

and wife. "I will carry out the sentence myself," said the Sultan. That night, he broke into the home and executed the law in the darkness. Having done so, he then lit a torch. For a moment he stood silently, then fell on his knees to pray. He then ordered the master of the house to bring him some food. With the hunger of a beggar the Sultan attacked the stale bread. For a long time he said nothing and ate a great deal. The master of the house could hold back no longer. "What is the matter with you?" he cried. Sultan Mahmud, Omnipotent Ruler of the East, answered him: "I've eaten and drunk nothing for three days, because I thought the guilty one was my son. That was why I decided to carry out the sentence myself. So that justice would not be stayed, I didn't light the torch. Now I see, glory be to Allah, that it was not my son." This was how the Turkis then ruled, valuing honour above all. Of course, some Turkic traditions died out in the Caliphate, while others, in contrast, took root forever. The richer the old life was, the better the new life will be. Each generation strengthened the foundations of the faith. Bukhara, Gyandja, Nakhichevan, Turkestan, Samarkand - all were sources of a river of knowledge. The word Tengri long remained on people's lips there. The first Moslems used the words Tengri, Khodai and Allah side by side. They were one and the same; only their shades of meaning were different. In the Ancient Altai, for example, Allah meant "Guardian Spirit". Allah-Chayan meant "Creator" or "God". The word Khodai also meant "God" or "Lord". To this day it is pronounced there exactly this way. Only one of these now remains in Islam - Allah. The name of Tengri was heard less and less often. This wasn't because people wanted to forget it; the problem was with the Christians. They, too, said, "Tengri" or "Dangri", or "Dangyr" when speaking to God. The East wanted to be different even here. This was necessary. Only the Moslem Turkis continued to chant "Tengri" and "Khodai", despite the prohibitions against it. They guarded these words like gems handed down from their grandfathers and great-grandfathers. The Oguz turned out not just to be true healers of the human spirit, but skilled hunters of it as well. They carefully carried out a policy that changed people's lives. For example, they changed the name of the Altai. For Moslems it became the Holy Mountain of Kaf - a mountain standing on an emerald, the light reflected from which gave the heavens a greenish tint. This was when green - the colour of an emerald - became the colour of Islam. Kaf lives according to the Will of Heaven, they taught; it was from there that everything came - earthquakes, windstorms and other vicissitudes of Fate. This was a holy spot on the planet. At this time both Moslems and Christians prayed facing the East, turning their gaze towards the Altai - or, more exactly, to Mount Kaf. It was only much later that the Arabian Moslems altered this custom, directing the faces of the faithful towards Mecca, instead. In establishing the rituals of Islam, the Oguz cut like surgeons along the living Turkic culture. They suffered unbearable pain, but carried on with what they had begun. They answered every blow of the Christians, every one of their thrusts. There was a battle for the faith, for the God of Heaven, for icons, for the Cross. For example: In Byzantium in the 8th century, icons began to be corrupted. This was done consciously and with great skill, because the Trullo Church Council of 691 had ordered that icons should depict Christ. Before this, he was shown as the Lamb of God - a lamb with a shepherd's crook. Christ was given the face of the God of Heaven, Tengri. This was an open challenge and an injustice, one that showed disrespect for Islam and other religions.

The Almighty had been depicted before on icons by Moslems, Christians, Altai Turkis, and Buddhists - all of whom believed in Tengri. In the actions of the Greeks, however, there was a conscious attempt to deceive, plus some cold calculation: Christ, in their opinion, would become something of a common god - the single God for everyone. In response, the Caliph Abd al-Malik forbade icons to the Moslems. From this time forward, they ceased depicting Allah and all living things created by Him. By the 9th century this prohibition had become a rule of Moslem painting. They never observed it, however, when referring to the Koran. Not only did they paint, they painted with great talent. It is true, though, that icons disappeared from the Moslem way of life forever. Thus, in the constant battle with Byzantium, Islam searched for and found itself. It is difficult to find oneself in the shifting sands of spiritual dispute. At this juncture, Jargan, a hero of the Turkic people, was introduced into Moslem culture. He was not, however, portrayed as he was, but differently. The Oguz had always been masters at brewing the potion of forgetfulness, and Jargan's name was changed for him. Meanwhile, those who had imbibed the Oguz concoction simply forgot about his long history. In Moslem legends Jargan is called Djor, Djirdjis, Khyzyr, Khyzyr-Ilias, Khyzyr-galya issalaam, Keder, and Kederles. He was removed farther and farther from the truth. He remained a young man, but with a long, grey beard. He became immortal and lived on the seashore, but not in Derbent. In poetry, reality is always a bit improbable. This is the value of a true legend. Jargan entered the Moslem world as "improbable". He can be seen to this day in the Mosque of Aiya Sofia in Istanbul (Constantinople). From time to time, the warrior here holds nighttime battles, invisible to humans, with the forces of darkness. Drops of blood - the traces of these battles - can be found on the walls of the Mosque in the morning. The blood is wiped away, but the spots always reappear. In Derbent, too, at the site of Jargan's grave, miracles occur. The local inhabitants sometimes see him - alive, although centuries have passed since his death! He is immortal, they say. He walks at night, talks with others and goes to the spring that appeared there following his earthly execution. He punishes sinners and helps those who are suffering. His grave is a place of pilgrimage. Having imbibed the "potion of forgetfulness", people no longer remember that the Christians referred to Jargan as St. Gregory, but his legend still lives on. Why in the world should ordinary people remember all this? The important thing is that Islam acquired yet another hero. That heroes are sometimes "reborn" is quite common in History. One can say that, among Moslems, Christ became Isa, while Moses became Musa; their biographies, are a bit different from those found in Christianity. It makes no difference - they are remnants of early Islam. The Moslems keep and revere them as Prophets. Unfortunately, however, politics have also intruded more than once into History. They have distorted and confused it, and invented all kinds of horrors. At some point, the secret of the Monastery of al-Kusair will be revealed. Here in the Near East, the name of Gheser, Prophet of the Turkis, once lived on, but he is now stubbornly denied. It was at al-Kusair that the Moslem monastery where Hasan of Basra, the founder of Islamic monasticism, began his work, stood. He died in 728. Many mysteries and secrets remain from the Dark Ages. At that time, East and West were battling for world supremacy. They fought desperately. Turkis lived in both places. They altered names, titles and dates themselves, and they did so consciously. Behind it all were politics: they divided up the Turkic legacy. Or, more exactly,

the culture of the Turkic people. The West wanted to make it theirs, while the East wanted the same. On the Eve of Great Changes In order to win, the East needed freedom. Freedom in everything: in religion, in trade and in politics. Only Islam could provide this freedom, since "Whoever has God, has power". In the power of the spirit - religion - the West also saw the guarantee of its victory. The European nations lived for the glory of the Church. Turkis also stood at the helm of power, but they occupied no thrones; instead, they could be found alongside them in the royal retinues, dispensing advice. It was not they who decided European politics; they merely took part in them. The Kipchaks had become Europeans. This explained everything. They now defended the interests of their individual countries, and not those of the Turkic world…. Other interests that had become their own. It was much more difficult for the Moslem East. It had long lived under the yoke of the Empire and created itself by itself. It had made itself in the depths of Byzantium, out of yesterday's slaves. The Byzantines, then masters of the world, were deathly afraid of Islam: liars always fear the truth. Though it had bought off the Turkic hirelings in the 4th and 5th centuries, Byzantium came no closer to the Turkic world. On the contrary: it had developed a strong hatred for it. The nation's prosperity depended on the so-called Silk Road, which passed through the lands of the Kipchaks. It was the Turkis who brought the riches of the East to Constantinople; in doing so, they inexplicably acquired there a reputation as dangerous enemies. There is, by the way, really nothing to explain or to find surprising. Byzantium had never belonged to a single people: Greeks, Turkis, Armenians and Kurds had all struggled for power there, both overtly and covertly. Policy had always been set by the victor. Intrigues, conspiracies and assassinations were commonplace there. It was by these that they lived. Byzantium really should have perished - died as a result of its own conspiracies and constant treachery. Its fate would be decided in the not-too-distant future. The Greeks, who had long held power in Byzantium, lost it once and for all by the 8th century. The Greek Emperor ruled "just so much as the Turkis allowed him to". Afterwards, everything happened as it had in Rome and the Caliphate: In 717, the Kipchaks brought their own Isaur Dynasty to the throne. The power of the Greeks was through. The politics of Byzantium were not. The Emperor Leo III Isaur was a native of Syria, from the city of Germanicus. Noble Turkic blood flowed in his veins: he wielded weapons expertly and was passionately devoted to horseback riding. The Kipchaks, as is well-known, had lived in the Near East since the 4th century and had long since become natives. The first Emperor of the Isaur Dynasty ruled wisely from the Byzantine throne, skilfully deciding matters to the benefit of the nation. Leo III, a brilliant general and politician, was distinguished by his intelligence, instincts, fearlessness and surprising tenacity. Once, the future Emperor led a small scouting party across the Caucasus Mountains on skis the plaited snowshoes used in the Altai. At the risk of his life, it would seem he accomplished the impossible: he made it over the dangerous snowfields and went on to victory…. The origins of the new Emperor gave him fearlessness and ardour, features of the Turkic character, in spades. Under him, it was as though Byzantium had been resuscitated and come back to life. In a matter of days, it became aggressive once again and declared the Moslems to be its number one enemy…. One can understand its ruler. He, a Christian, had in his youth suffered at the

hands of the Arabs; and, having become the Emperor of Byzantium, recalled the humiliation endured when the Caliphate's Christians were made to ride on horseback side-saddle, like women. The Emperor had not yet made the throne his own when war began with the Moslems. They advanced all the way to Constantinople and laid siege to it. A fleet of 1,800 ships took up position in the bay off the Golden Horn, threatening the city. No open water was visible ships and boats filled the bay from shore to shore. The city faced total destruction. The forces were clearly not equal, and defeat seemed inevitable - or so everyone thought. Everyone except Leo Isaur. He was not afraid, and calmly proceeded to build up the city's defences. He sent out raiding parties and - most important - started using Greek fire, his secret weapon, in time to make a difference. Simply put, he burned the enemy's ships at sea, like steppe-dwellers burn the dry grass in a field before their enemies. The world had never seen such a fearsome battle. It was as if the sea itself were aflame. The Moslems took this to be a miracle - or, more exactly, as punishment from God - and fled in terror. This was no miracle, however: it had come, once again, from the Kipchaks of the Caucasus. They, both friends of Leo Isaur and excellent chemists, knew how to make weapons out of oil - weapons of which no one at that time knew anything. This was the priceless "knowledge of the ancients". Chemistry and alchemy had always been especially revered among the Turkis. This is how Derbent helped the Byzantines - by making "Greek fire" from Baku oil. They had long used it in infantry battles in the Great Steppe. For them it was commonplace. The Arabs withdrew. It took a long time for them to recover from such a horrible defeat. They were truly afraid, and their subsequent wars with Byzantium came to nothing. This was a cry of despair: an army that has lost its spirit cannot be victorious, not even over an obviously weak foe. These "wars of desperation" would eventually lead to the fall of the Caliphate's Umayyad Dynasty. They were, in fact, the main reason. With no less talent, Leo Isaur built up trade, bringing back Byzantium's "Golden Age". He appointed new courts and introduced new laws that greatly resembled those of Desht-iKipchak. Byzantium began to use identical laws. "We have placed before earthly justice a woman to mediate with the God of Heaven. She is swifter than any sword in the battle with our enemies…". With these words, courts in Byzantium now came to order. They had always done so among the Turkis, who believed firmly in the justice of the Heavenly Court. Also of interest is the fact that the Greeks nicknamed the people of the Isaur Dynasty "chevaliers" - "philly-" and "horsemen". They were given these humorous sobriquets for their passion for horseback riding. The new Byzantine dynasty was also distinguished by its special interest in the khanates of Desht-i-Kipchak - Khazaria and Greater Bolgaria (Bulgaria). This had never happened before. The Byzantines intelligently and easily carried out their policies there. The Kipchak khanates wanted to befriend them, the Byzantine Kipchaks, and to form a single nation. A surprising union between Byzantium and Desht-i-Kipchak took shape. Leo Isaur, for example, married his son, Constantine V, to the daughter of the Khazar khan. Her name was Chichak, or "Little Flower". Once she had been baptised into the Greek Church, she assumed the name Irina (Irene). It was with this name that she would go down in Byzantine history. Under the Isaurs, everything changed dramatically. Everything was now done differently; it was as if the country had been born anew. The khanates of Khazaria and Greater Bolgaria became not just friends of Byzantium, but mainstays in the battle against the Catholics and Moslems. Later, in 864, the Bolgars

converted completely to Greek Christianity. This was clearly a political step - one that would have far-reaching consequences for centuries to come. Leo Isaur did indeed introduce much that was Kipchak in nature into Byzantine society. He himself would spend his entire life battling against the Turkic world. It was he who ordered that icons be corrupted with the likeness of Tengri, in response to criticism over their "barbarian" origins. It was he who, for the same reason, delivered a heavy blow against the monasteries of Byzantium. At the same time, this deadly enemy of the Turkis and Moslems took all that was best in Islam; for this his contemporaries accused him of "sympathy for the Moslems". Was this perhaps what politics demanded? Byzantium had always played a double game. Under its Kipchak rulers, it was as though it had come back to life, spread its wings, and began to prepare for war - a war for the right to life in a new world. However, everything happened differently than the Greeks intended. In the 9th century their plans were dealt a decisive blow, unexpectedly but inevitably. It had been carefully prepared. The Pope at that time, Nicholas I, rejected the authority of the Byzantine Patriarch and declared his independence to the world. This was a blow to the heart itself, an open challenge towards the redistribution of Europe and power in the Church. It became clear that the Greek Church, created in the 4th century through force and treachery by the Emperor Constantine, was living out its best years. Awesome changes were approaching it from both East and West. The entire world prepared to rise up against Byzantium - a nation that had become fabulously rich in the early Dark Ages. For centuries the Greeks had got rich off of Christianity. In dictating the rules of life for other peoples, they sat in judgment, carried out executions and dispensed mercy. They were masters of other people's homes and other people's pockets. Like a river, riches flowed into Constantinople from all over the world. And a lot of people didn't like it, either. The Byzantines had, however, still won the first battle for the redivision of the world. They had been united by a Kipchak named Leo Isaur, who repulsed the attack from the East. The next battle, though, would not take place between armies, but within the Church. In spiritual disputes, the Byzantines had always been weak. Desht-i-Kipchak held a strong position in this battle for power over Europe: behind it stood half the world. It held in its hands both gold and the sword - the main levers of politics. Most important, however, was the fact that the Turkis no longer understood one another, although they all spoke the same language. Some had remained true to the covenant of Tengri; others to the Koran or the Bible. The nation had lost its name and, therefore, its spirit. It had forgotten the lessons of the Ancient Altai - that neither the sword nor money rules in this world, but he to whom the soul of the people belongs. On the other hand, the Italians, also enemies of Byzantium, were distinguished by their unity of spirit. They had been united by the Catholic Turkis, who in 756 created a semi-state on the territory of Ravenna - a Papal enclave, the successor to which would be the Vatican. There, the monastic orders of the Pope held absolute power. For them borders did not exist, and they held entire nations in the palms of their hands. The present Vatican is a sign of Papal authority. It is the world's smallest state, a true dwarf but its power is enormous, like that of all dwarves who have subjugated giants. There had always been giants among the servants of the Pope - the descendants of the great Attila. There in the Vatican, all that was Latin and all that was Turkic have long since merged

into one. No one knows where one stops and the other begins. The lessons of the Ancient Altai, though, have always been scrupulously observed there: those who serve in the Vatican are unshakable in their beliefs, and the Pope is obeyed without question. Everyone knows that the basis of his power is God. Or, more accurately, the Word that reigns over the souls of all people. To Him, they listen. Pope Gregory VII, who initiated the Church's new policy in 1075, was a native of Tuscany, the home of many Italian Kipchaks. His high cheekbones and predatory, hawk-like eyes most likely would have earned him the sobriquet Togryl ("Hawk"), had he lived in the Great Steppe. He hated everything that was Turkic, the way all turncoats hate their homeland - much too strongly. As Pope, he issued a Decree which included his "right to designate and crown emperors". In other words, under Gregory, the Catholic Church declared its authority over all the monarchs of Europe. He became a "king of kings", evoking the ire of King Heinrich IV, the leader of South Germany. War soon broke out. The German Kipchaks took Rome by storm. They were not, however, able to kill the Pope, since the Moslems intervened. By the sword, they cut a path to the castle where the Pope had taken refuge and rescued him. The Moslems were faithful allies of the Vatican. Pope Gregory knew about Tengri quite well: while studying the rituals of Islam, he openly declared that he worshipped the same God as the Moslems, that the two faiths were identical, and that they both had but one source. It should be noted that this was a daring thought even for the Pope. It seems daring only today, however, now that much has been forgotten. In those times such words were hardly rare. Catholics and Moslems, like soldiers of one army, had stood shoulder-to-shoulder for centuries and had fought against Byzantium for hundreds of years. For example, Pope Sylvester II (who, incidentally, was also a Kipchak by blood) had, prior to his election, spent several years among the Moslem Turkis, studying mathematics, chemistry and the technical sciences. In Europe, his knowledge was imbued with an aura of legend. The tale of the famous Dr. Faust was based on the life of Sylvester. The friendship between the Moslem Turkis and the Catholic Turkis is now forgotten. In those days it was remembered, and not at all surprising. The Turkis are indeed the main mystery of the Dark Ages that followed the collapse of Rome. Historians have deliberately made them darker, transforming some events into farce, and others into misunderstanding. It is as though they have forgotten about the Turkic nation and its contribution to the treasure-house of mankind. No one, though, can alter the truth of Time. Not even the Church. Dissent Of course, not all the Church's popes were alike: one might devote himself to service, another to pleasure. Even the Papal tiara cannot change the essence of a person. There were years when the Vatican's palaces were places of wild debauchery, bloody crimes and total ignorance. It was as if the clergy were competing with the laity in sin - in drunkenness, sloth and other deadly vices. Then, with the coming of a new Pope, everything would change. There would again be prayers, politics and intrigues. With the passage of time, however, the Church once again began to decline. Why? There is no answer to this; no one has tried to find any. Were the Turkis not the cause of this? It was according to their traditions that the Catholic

Church had been built. They were the rulers there; this could be seen in every detail, large and small. Nevertheless, the Church's Apostolic Laws was written by a Kipchak, Father Dionysius the Younger - which, most certainly, had consequences of its own. For example: all the popes from the 4th century on have worn on their fingers a ring bearing the image of a fish. This has been handed down as symbol of power within the Vatican. The ring itself, however, is from the Altai. How and through whom it got to Rome is unknown, but objects with exactly the same image of a fish have been found many times in Altai burial mounds. Is this pure chance? Of course not; we are talking here about symbols! Only tengrichi - the Turkic high priests - had such things. It was the sign that set them apart and gave them the right to hold power. The sign of the fish is around 3,000 years old. Among the Ancient Turkis, it was the symbol of the sky - the heavenly ocean. Far from being pure chance, too, was the "Rite of Plunder", another ritual long observed in the Church. Following the election of a pope, the guards would raid the Papal palaces, carrying off everything that could be carried. The great Roman Empire knew no such ritual. It was deeply Turkic and was called the khan talau, the "Robbing of the Khan". It was abolished only in the 16th centure, having fallen into disfavour with the guards. The Moslems also had such a "Rite of Plunder", and they, too, got it from the Turkis. Their khan talau usually took place following the death of a caliph. It was carried out especially vigorously in 991, when the palace was reduced to ruins. This was not an act of barbarism, but a celebration of the monarch. A bit wild, of course, but a celebration nevertheless. It was how the people expressed their recognition of the new authority which he had assumed…. Of course, everything that had been "stolen" was returned. There are many such examples in the history of the Dark Ages. The battle between that which was Turkic and that which was not would long distinguish the world, Italy and the Vatican. Traces of it remain in the chronicles. Here is a parable from those days; it has the philosophy of a Turk, reveals the soul of a Turk and explains much about the Turkis: A teacher ordered his pupils to kill a dove, but to do it in such a way that no one could see them. The Latin boy slit the dove's throat inside a barn. The Greek boy killed his dove in a dark cellar; the Celtic boy, in the depths of the forest. Only the Turkic boy gave his teacher a live dove, saying that the task was impossible. "Why?" the teacher asked him. The boy answered: "Because God sees everything. Nothing can be hidden from him." Earlier, the Turkis' own special concept of God and the world lived within them. They came into this world like no one else. The culture of their ancestors was passed on to them with their mothers' milk, with the lullabies and fairy tales they would remember all their lives. Though he may have become a Catholic or a Moslem, a Turk nevertheless remained an emissary of the Altai. A sense of freedom continued to live within his soul. Inborn, like his love for his homeland, it was ineradicable. To this day, it remains unextinguished. A Latin who came to the Papal throne might well be capable of sin. To him a former pagan, the faith of the God of Heaven was alien, and he would still hope to hide from the Almighty's all-seeing eye. He would hope to escape Divine Judgment, not understanding that this was impossible. This would become a source of dissention in the Vatican. Two peoples with different national traits lived side by side in Italy, and they would clash in the Church. They were both called "Italians", but they were clearly two different types of Italians. The popes remained people of the culture (or, more exactly, those rules and traditions) according to which their ancestors had lived. This is clear from the history of the popes itself.

For the Italians, heading the Vatican meant acquiring power. They would occasionally buy themselves the throne - and, along with it, the right to sin. Thus, John XII, having donned the Papal tiara at the age of 20, would transform the Church into a house of sin for years to come. The Turkis served the Church somewhat differently. Without realising it, they remained true to their culture and their ancestors even after they had become Christians. Yes, they, too, were responsible for cruelties and violence, but they did such things not for the sake of their own peccadilloes, but for that of their new faith. This was the policy of those Europeans whose roots were in the Altai. The New Europeans Some in Europe looked benignly on the sins of the Vatican; others did not. The unrest and rebellions among the Catholic parishioners were like epidemics of the plague, but they were not surprised at them. This is a common phenomenon of a new life. The first to grumble about the sins of the Vatican were the Bogomils; this is what those Catholics who wished to return to Tengri were called. The Cathari, who were just as dissatisfied, later took their place; they were followed by the Albigensians. They all spoke out for purity of faith in the God of Heaven. They greatly disliked the high-handedness of the Pope. The Bogomils, Cathari and others were not some sort of mythical nations, as historians sometimes portray them. They were the forebears of the present-day French, Italians, Spanish, Germans and Swiss. They were also called Khazars or Bolgars for their indefatigable temperament and Turkic origins. The spirit of the Altai did not disappear all at once in Dark Ages Europe. It took a long time to die, in suffering and great torment. The people remembered the banners of Attila and their bygone pride. The Turkic spirit tried desperately to come back to life in people bothered by their loss of freedom. In reviving the faith of their ancestors, they made themselves and their point of view, known to all. It was all, however, in vain. In essence, the entire history of Dark Ages Europe is the story of the Turks' battle against other Turks. Other Uluses, caught up in this battle acted differently. They refused to fight against the Church and left its lands behind. They fled to Scandinavia, far from the Pope and his intrigues. There were Kipchaks living in Northern Europe, too; they were called Goths. Their guardian spirit was the lizard, or "little dragon", which, in Turkic, is got. The Runic monuments of Scandinavia from that time and the results of Attila's 435 campaign in the European North - where he founded a new khanate - both tell of the Turkis. The monuments of that time have been beautifully preserved. There are many of them. In the Baltic Sea, for example, there is the island of Gotland - literally, the Land of the Goths. It is far from accidental that the lizard, or little dragon, was the symbol of Scandinavia. It can be seen on old Scandinavian monuments everywhere. To this day the symbol of the dragon has not been forgotten. It is apparent that the Balts were at one time dominant there. It is from them that the name of the area comes - the Baltic. The Kipchaks of Italy left for their kinsmen in the frigid North most unwillingly; by doing so, however, they hoped to keep themselves, their faith and their culture intact. They knew how to raise livestock and cultivate the land, skills with which the indigenous peoples there were unfamiliar. They also knew nothing of metallurgy or smithing. They learned all of this from the Turkis. In the world of the Dark Ages the rich deposits of iron ore in the mountains of Norrland at

once made Scandinavia important. It went quickly from being Europe's backyard to becoming a strong state. In Rome they began speaking cautiously about the Norsemen, courageous warriors and skilled metalworkers. The first mention of them in the chronicles was made in 839, when emissaries of the Norse arrived in Constantinople. They were seeking an alliance to move against the Catholics under the wing of Byzantium. The Norsemen were famous for their fearlessness and their skill in smelting metal to make excellent weapons. They easily conquered all of Northern Europe. An alliance with Byzantium was for them of the utmost importance. Much has been learned from the old Scandinavian sagas of that time. They are true poetic chronicles of Europe. From them it is clear that the Norse rulers rode on horseback. It is also plain that they embarked on sea voyages of a military nature and brought their horses on board with them. Their favourite foods were boiled horsemeat and kumys - fermented mare's milk. Occasionally, for one reason or another, the Norsemen's horses would end up on unpopulated islands and r evert to their wild state. Some herds died out, while others survive to this day, to the puzzlement of biologists: How could steppe animals have possibly got to these far northern islands? The Scandinavian sagas are quite remarkable. They remain to be truly studied, especially the Saga of Viland, the wonderous master smith. It contains striking details about the life of the Norse. It even says that Viland made a wine cup out of an enemy's skull. This was a purely Turkic custom, by which the Norsemen lived. Many also see symbols of the Altai in the famous Saga of Sigurd, which tells of the legendary Niebelungen. Who were these people? This is unknown - or, more likely, has been forgotten. In antiquity, this was what the Turks called their warriors (niv), who served the dragon (lung), and on whose coat of arms a dragon was depicted. It was no accident that the dragon became the symbol of the Norsemen. One can conclude that the song Uber den Niebelungen has historical roots and a master - that is, it has a past. Moreover, magnificent rockstones, exactly the same as those in the Ancient Altai, can be found in Northern Europe. Archaeologists are unable to explain why pictures on stones found in the Altai's Abakan River and in Scandinavia, are indistinguishable. This again is not all. Exactly the same pictures, with exactly the same designs, could be seen on the boats of the Norsemen. Where did they come from? Why did "Altai" dragons adorn the jewellery of the Scandinavians? This is a whole other story, one which demands a separate discussion. The ancient symbols of the Turkis can be seen everywhere in Scandinavia. Is it mere coincidence, for example, that the Scandinavians came to believe in the God of Heaven? Their Thor and Donar (or Dangir) are ways of addressing Tengri. It is these words that are recorded in the sagas. True, their ritual was not the same as that of the Altai. It became infused with local religious beliefs. This makes it even more interesting. What they have now is a melding of cultures: The faith of God and pagan beliefs now coexist, side by side. The Scandinavians needed such a blending. The indigenous population and the Turkic newcomers both sought a union. In order to become stronger they found it. This union, which was forged in the Dark Ages, did not disappear. It lives on in Scandinavia to the present day. It is obvious that the forebears of the Swedes were nearer to the Turkis and their culture. The love for metal and the skills of metalworking lives on in their descendants. The Norwegians are something else again. Their traditions are nearer those of the Finns. They are wonderful hunters, miners and seamen, but they are not craftsmen. Their national temperament is completely different.

The Scandinavians are usually taken to be one people - the Nordics - but they are still different. Everything there is as it is among the Italians. They feel themselves to be different, but they cannot understand why. Something remains in their memory, while something else has been forgotten. Peoples never confuse that which is theirs with that which belongs to others. The former is something vital, something that one knows instinctively. How do people manage this? Science doesn't know. The Belgians display exactly this kind of confusion. Two distinct peoples live in Belgium the Flemish and the Walloons. Time has not transformed them into one nation, although they have lived side by side for fifteen centuries. Peoples do not blend together. They only forget themselves. The ancestors of the Flemish were Kipchaks, brought by Attila. This is a historical fact. The clothing, customs and holidays of the Flemish were, so to speak, taken from the Altai and refashioned for Europe. The metalwork, traditional handicrafts utensils, Turkic-style dress, national cuisine (in which garlic holds a prominent place), even their bathhouses - everything among the Flemish is plainly Altaic. This is especially true of their ancient designs and jewellery - the tamga of the Altai. Of real interest is the province of Limburg, where there are ancient temples and monasteries, built in honour of Tengri. There is even a city of Tangeren, which the French also call Tongres. In 451, it saw the horsemen of Attila on its streets. It was at that time, apparently, that the first Turkis settled here as well. The Flemish had forgotten their native tongue by the 15th century thanks to the persistent efforts of the Church. It was now, so to speak, dissolved in the many different local dialects, leaving behind traces of itself in words that became common for all Belgians. The Walloons, on the other hand, are descendants of the Celts and are a completely different people. There is not one drop of Turkic blood in their veins; they are of an entirely different culture and way of life. In them the sight of a horse arouses neither memory nor joy. The Norse gave rise to more than one nation in Northern Europe. There are unique Dark Ages monuments in Denmark and Holland as well. The early history of these countries, it is becoming clear, was written in Turkic runes and according to Altaic rules. In Denmark the influence of the Kipchaks is plainly more noticeable, since there was already a Turkic population living there before the arrival of the Norsemen. It was brought there in the 5th century by Attila. The Dutch and the Flemish know about their common ancestry, but are unable to explain it. They have forgotten about it. Was it mere chance that the tulip was adopted as the emblem of Holland? The Kipchaks called it "the khans' flower"; it first bloomed on the steppe, in their homeland. Perhaps it will also one day remind the Dutch of the Great Steppe, the Altai and of their forgotten past. Without a past, there is no nation; without a past, it is an orphan, a foundling. The symbols of one's native land cannot be created out of thin air; one is born with them. They make up the memory of the nation. They are a divine pealing of bells that only their own people can hear. The Kipchaks explain many of the mysteries in European history; through them much becomes clear. For example, once one recalls the Turkis of the Dark Ages, the debates about the mythical "Rus" lose all meaning. It was the Norse who sometimes referred to themselves as Rusy. Or, more exactly, to their cousins who lived on the shores of the Baltic. From this came their famous Rus - in other words, the Principality (or Khanate) of Mariners. There was a White Rus and a Black Rus and a Kievan Rus as well.

The word rus can even be found in the book "A Collection of Turkic Dialects", written by the Dark Ages scholar Mahmud of Kashgar. He was a great expert on the Ancient Turkic language. He lived in Central Asia, far from Europe and the Scandinavians. It is likely that he had never even heard of them. Rus (or rs) was what oarsmen were called in the Ancient Altai - those who had from generation to generation "lived off the oar" or earned their living by rowing. This is why the Norsemen called themselves this - or, more precisely, those who lived "off the oar" on the shores of the Baltic. It was Mahmud of Kashgar who offered this "ethnic" explanation of the word. "There is nothing sweeter than one's youth," teaches the Altai. The 9th century, with its mysterious Norsemen, who first appeared like a tornado and then vanished without a trace, marked the age of youth for Northern Europe. In 865, an "English Rus" was born. It was then that the mighty troops of the Norsemen first disembarked in England. They were led by two brothers, sons of the great Regnar Leatherpants. Who was he? Let us say that no one knows for certain. However, the first thing that his sons did in England was to obtain horses. They knew that "you won't get anywhere if you don't drive your horse to death". The Old Norse "Saga of Regnar Leatherpants" is about them. With their arrival, the Norsemen firmly established Turkic culture in England without even noticing. It included burial mounds, the main mark of the Great Steppe; elegant books; magnificent jewellery and embroidery; fine engraving and inlaying - all done according to Altaic prototypes. It was for this reason that they encountered no serious resistance among the English Kipchaks. English archaeologists have long argued over the origins of these finds - all for nothing. The primitive style in which the finds were executed (and which so delights the English) is a mark of the Ancient Altai, its tamga. This is - no doubt to the chagrin of the archaeologists - quite true. There is no longer anything like it anywhere in the world. The tracks left by the Turkis in Iceland and Greenland are especially interesting. Once again, one can see the "primitive style" and the Runic monuments; here, they have been "studied" by science. No one has genuinely studied these monuments. They have always been treated as some kind of anomaly of the Dark Ages - a fluke of History, transported from only God knows where. "Experts" have tried translating the ancient texts without even knowing what language they were working from. The Nibelungen is a good example of this: what they got was not a translation, but pure rubbish - "spoiled knowledge", a mere string of words. The name Iceland is, by the way, also Turkic: isi was "to become hot"; the name therefore literally means "hot earth". Why not? It happens to be true. Until the 11th century they ate horseflesh in Iceland, not herring. They also spoke Turkic. The "land of ice" interpretation that is generally accepted today doesn't suit Iceland at all: there are many islands in the North Atlantic that are covered with ice, but only one that is hot - the one that was found in the 9th century by the Norsemen. They were surprised at how warm it was. Even today tourists are drawn to Iceland by its volcanoes and geysers. Volcanoes are volcanoes; we doubt, however, if anyone knows that the national flag of Iceland - a fimbriated cross on a dark blue field - was once called a tug. It is, in fact, a Turkic flag; they have kept the banner under which Attila fought! There were

many such flags in the Ancient Altai. Other North European flags also bore the cross, fimbriated or not; one has only to look at the old banners of Sweden, Belgium or England to see this. True, there is a legend that sometime in the 12th century, the Swedish King Erik IX saw in the sky the gold cross that became the symbol of his country. This may be possible, but it is not the entire truth. This was the era when Catholicism was establishing itself in the region, and the Vatican "tweaked" the history of Scandinavia, just a bit. This was the way it always acted whenever it was consolidating its power. In America, too, in the state of Minnesota, monuments with Turkic runes have been found. True, they have been declared fakes - that they could be discovered there was simply too unexpected. There are, however, other facts that sooner or later must be investigated. One cannot get away from this if, for example, one wants to learn more about the Vinland (Winlandia) that was (according to an Icelandic saga) discovered by Leif Ericsson in 1000 AD. Leif was the son of the famous Norseman Eric the Red. The first mate on his voyage was a Turki - a man with a freckled face, high forehead and short legs. He knew the Germanic tongue well - in other words, he spoke Turkic fluently - loved making things and was wellversed in the sciences. It was he who, by happy accident, discovered America. He even found wild grapes growing there, a delicacy of which the Norsemen had never heard. So, there were Turkis in America, too. Vinland lay to the west of Greenland. It was noted by the Norsemen on the old map mentioned above. The ocean that washed both their shores was called Tengyr. It is this Ancient Turkic word that cuts across the Norsemen's map from top to bottom. In the margins, a short text about the voyage is written in Altaic runes. Until fairly recently the map was kept in a museum in Hungary. It was printed on paper whose recipe was known only in Samarkand, which tells us a great deal. This is how widely Fate tossed the Kipchaks around the world. They settled islands, founded new nations and discovered America 500 years before Columbus. They would do anything to avoid knowing the Pope. The Crusades The period following the collapse of Rome is known as the Dark Ages, and for good reason. People will never learn the truth about them. The Catholics destroyed the chronicles and books of those years. Almost nothing remains. They created thousands of ways to kill the truth, and accomplished the truly unbelievable. Here is just one of the methods they used. The Church introduced a rule for the nobility: they had to fight (or "duel" with) a dragon. Without having slain a dragon, no man could call himself a nobleman. His road into high society was blocked, and his neighbours would not open their doors to him. What kind of dragon did they have to slay, though? What sort of "duel" were they talking about? Europe had no live dragons. However, the image of the dragon, the sign of Turkic culture, was everywhere. The Church expected one to renounce his ancestors. He had to swear that he wished to know nothing that was connected to "the dragon". It was a kind of ritual duel - a bloodless duel, behind which stood murder of the most real sort: the killing of the memory. Here is another example which speaks volumes. The Turkis would never stab a foe with a sabre or dagger, calling this a disgraceful act of treachery. It was with straightforward,

slashing blows that the Kipchaks fought. According to their rules of honour, an enemy ought to see the blow coming. This was noted in the Church. The Catholics of those times were armed with broadswords, stilettos and dirks, that is, with thrust weapons. They fairly bristled with weapons. In single combat in the narrow and tangled city streets of the period, they prevailed. The Church had never cared about the rules of a fair fight. Thus, the sabre gave way to the broadsword, and nobility to baseness. The Catholics, though, connected their victory with the fact that the broadsword resembles a Latin cross, and that in it (they said) lies the Victory of Christ. They remained silent about everything else. Pope Gregory VII also proposed the Crusades to Europe for the "Victory of Christ". In reality, though, it was not for the sake of rescuing the grave of Christ (the coffin of Christ, as it was thought at that time that the body of Christ was placed in a coffin) that he plotted these wars the bloodiest and most senseless wars of the Middle Ages. A horrible new period in history was about to begin. By the 11th century, Western Europe had become sufficiently strong to launch an attack on Byzantium and the Islamic East. It was now important for the Pope to incite the people to a war for power over the world. This resulted in a policy known as the Crusades. It would last for almost two centuries. This happened, to be exact, despite the fact that there were in Palestine, which bore the brunt of the Pope's new war, no coffins and certainly not the coffin of Our Lord, since the Jews did not bury their dead in coffins. So, the truth be told, there was nothing about which to fight. War, however, was needed. A war from the Atlantic to the banks of the Euphrates, one that would plunge the world into flames. The Church came up with the myth of "the coffin of Our Lord", which had apparently been seized by heathens. Agents of the Pope arranged a pogrom in Jerusalem against the Christians, and blamed it on the Moslems. This served as the grounds for war. A man called Peter the Hermit, who had been tormented since birth by deliriums and nightmares, helped. This unbalanced youth had married a wicked older woman for her money, but the marriage did not bring him any happiness. Peter exchanged the rich home of his wife for the cell of a monk. In 1094, he went to Jerusalem at the insistence of the Pope. There, it seems, he was approached by Christ, who said: "Peter, tell the faithful about the plight of the holy places, arouse them to cleanse Jerusalem and rescue their shrines from the hands of the pagans." These words would lead to the start of the Crusades. With them, the Catholics began a war against their long-time allies - the Moslems. It was at this time, too, that the first outrageous stories appeared about Islam being the enemy of all Christians and the whole humankind. Vicious lies about it were being spread on every street corner, in every home. The Pope's agents operated like a well-tuned-up mechanism, precisely and without fail. From monastery to monastery, from city to city, they spread their rumours. The slander circulated, penetrating into people's souls, and engendering hatred for the Moslems. The Catholics wanted to push the Greeks out of the Mediterranean, and they needed a new policy to do so. Pope Gregory VII was one of the Church's most perspicacious popes. As was noted long ago, however, one man, no matter how great and powerful, cannot really accomplish anything, since there are no perfect people. On the other hand, there are grandiose plans! They bewitch entire nations, and transform even the wisest among them into gullible fools. Pope Gregory VII's call to arms for a "War for God" was one such plan.

He planned not just the conquest of the Mediterranean: he also wanted to exhaust Europe and deprive it of its strongest and most enlightened people. This was the first and most secret aim of his plans for the Crusades. The Church had long dreamed of simultaneously being "the temporal and spiritual emperor". The Pope thought to destroy those in his flock who were dangerous to him, above all the nobility and idle youth. In other words, "all young men of military age", as they were called. At that time, the West lived according to the concept of "God's World", which forbade war and any sort of hostilities between Catholics. This idea arose in the south of France and won the hearts and minds of Europe's kings. It was supported by the people. There was something bewitching about it; it also sounded sweet to the Turkic ear. Trenga Dei - "God's World". Like a distant echo of the forgotten Tengri, it soothed the ear. In the blood of the Latin Kipchaks, memories of the majestic past were stirred. What had been was remembered once again. Throughout the year 1096, throngs of people streamed into the large cities of Western Europe. Their squares and streets could not accommodate all those who wanted to volunteer. People sewed crosses made out of red cloth - the emblem of the Pope's army - onto their right shoulders, and became crusaders. "God has willed it, God has willed it," the then Pope Urban II never tired of repeating. Urban took the crusaders under his own personal protection: he absolved them of their sins and forgave all their debts. Everything he could do for them, he did, and for them only. A great many people sewed the cross on their clothing. They were undoubtedly very religious, but they had been deceived by the Pope. They were being herded to their deaths, like young bulls to the slaughter. They never even guessed it. Noblemen and their children, peasants and artisans - all prepared for the march on Jerusalem, for the liberation of the Holy Land. Families gathered from Toulouse, Burgundy, Flanders - in a word, from all of the Turkic lands of Western Europe. They were preparing to work a miracle: to fight for something that didn't exist. It seems astonishing, but few of the crusaders knew in what country the Holy Land lay, or why and to whom it was important. Their leaders had no plan of action. One was, incidentally, hardly needed, since the Pope was leading people out of Europe to their certain deaths. What was important to him was the fighting between the Western and Eastern Turkis; he wanted the maximum possible number of casualties. The Church would win no matter how the war turned out. Whenever speaking about "pernicious" Islam, though, the Pope lied baldly. There is in the Koran nothing about the subjugation of other nations - not even a hint at it. On the other hand, it does say that it is to faith's detriment if it is imposed by force and deceit. For Moslems, this is a sin. Only by the Word, only by personal example, can Islam be spread. Each thing with which the Pope came up was worse than its predecessors, but never once did he think of the Truth. The crusaders, knowing nothing about Islam, began the war. They cared nothing about knowledge and books. They thirsted for blood and the fabled riches of the East. This is what attracted many of them. The looting began at once. On the way to Jerusalem, the Pope's warriors provisioned themselves by plundering settlements and robbing everyone they came across, while the monks fed them nothing but rumours. Women and children marched alongside the troops; the whole thing resembled a migration of peoples. It was just the opposite, however: they were marching not to settle new lands, but to die in them. The crusaders took practically every major city for Jerusalem and would begin preparing for the attack. Flowing turbidly, the blind mass moved on, ever to the East. It gathered new

members and new allies: the power of the crusade's message drew people and ignited their passion. It was a scene of general confusion. Society's rejects marched alongside the gentles of the nobility. Genuine thieves, for example, led the crusaders from England. They were helped along by a robber who burned a cross into his body and declared that it had been done "by the hand of God". It was also said, incidentally, that "a thief who has killed dozens of people has a chance to do good, too". At this time, everything was forgiven, and everything was encouraged - if only to increase the number of crusaders. The inhabitants of present-day Germany, then part of the Holy Roman Empire, at first viewed the throng of crusaders as a herd of wild animals. The Bavarians and Saxons laughingly referred to them as victims of "false and foolish hopes". The Germans remained deaf to the words of the Pope's preachers; they had no love for Urban, and their emperor, Henry IV, had once even gone to war against him. However, the example of their French and English cousins proved contagious. The German Kipchaks were infected with an irresistible urge to migrate. Turkic blood awoke in the Holy Roman Empire, too. The number of crusaders from the German lands grew literally before one's eyes, even despite the protests of the Emperor. A goat and a goose were placed at the head of the detachment from the Rhine, and declared them the "leaders of the expedition". This was hardly unexpected; everything was as it should have been, since the sheep and the swan were ancient Turkic symbols - guardian spirits. They hadn't been forgotten; they had by now just been redrawn slightly in people's consciousness. The blending of cultures can be seen wherever one does not expect it. This is what makes ethnography so fascinating. For example, there is very little that is known for certain about the Pope's army. There is almost no reliable data. No one knows of whom it was made up, of what nations it consisted. There is one thing we do know, though, and that is the religious songs that were sung by those who took part in the Crusades. They were sung by choirs, which makes a great many things clear. What were these songs? The Church called them "pilgrims' songs". They were, of course, ascribed to divine origin, since they were believed to have united the multilingual peoples of Europe. But did they really? These songs, it becomes clear, sounded identical in the languages of the Italians and the French, the English and the Germans. They were ancient campaign songs of the Turkis who marched in the "multilingual" mass of crusaders; the people sang folk songs in their native language. All the same, one shouldn't forget that every second European was Turkic by blood, as had been true since the time following the Great Migration of the Peoples. It was memory that united the people then. The tradition of campaign songs, as is wellknown, was brought to Europe from the Altai; it did not exist there earlier. This is why the English could then speak with the French and the Germans without interpreters. They all understood one another: Turkic was the common language of intercourse in Europe. It was not forgotten entirely until the 15th century. No one feared the crusaders as much as the Byzantines, for they saw in them the face of their own death, and could feel its breath. The Catholics "for the sake of appearance headed for Jerusalem", reported one Byzantine chronicle of the period, "and are now capturing Constantinople, instead". Of course, the crusaders at once began pillaging here, too - in the capital of Christendom.

They broke into churches, seized all the accoutrements and valuables they could lay their hands on, and then sold them - back to the Greeks! The looting didn't last long however; the Greeks hurried to transport their guests over the Bosporus - the strait separating Europe from Asia, and the Christian world from the Moslem world. They were then on their own; the Byzantines did not join in the campaign to liberate the greave of Christ. The most horrible part lay ahead: an unprepared army cannot long survive in an alien land. Of course, they didn't defeat the Moslems. The chronicles of this crusade say simply that "The bones of the Christians were heaped in mountains". Mountains of bones were the result of the Pope's policy. The Church, incidentally, needed no military victories. Even the taking of Jerusalem by the crusaders in 1099, and the massacres, arranged by the Christians in the Holy Land, that took place in the homes of Jews and Moslems, didn't cheer the Pope. He regarded them as he would a toothache which just has to be endured. What could the real generals - Count Raymond of Toulouse, who led the troops from Southern France; Hugo Vermandois; Duke Robert of Normandy; Gottfried of Boulogne, and others - do? They had no special rights in the Pope's army. They set aside their fears and risked everything; and, at first, they were victorious. But only at first. Eventually, the Moslems would defeat the Catholics utterly, and the slave markets of the East would overflow with new human wares. Which is what the Pope secretly wanted. There would be other crusades later, in 1148 and 1191. They ended the same way. This would happen again and again. In 1212, there was the Children's Crusade. Tens of thousands of children set off to perish in the Holy Land. The Pope's servants led them not to Jerusalem, but directly into the slave markets of Egypt. Europe lost millions of people during this period. On the other hand, though, the Church would amass tons of gold in exchange for its human merchandise. The triumph of the Roman Catholic Church began with the suffering of the people. It had won the crusades. The power of the nobility, the Pope's main enemy, was at an end. Dejection reigned in the cities of Europe. It was at this time that new Papal troops entered the arena - the knights' orders of the Templars and the Hospitallers. They supplemented the monastic orders that had served the Pope for centuries. The Templars began to conduct trade and to lend money on terms favourable to themselves. Meanwhile, the Hospitallers began caring for the sick and wounded. They were responsible only to the bishops; secular officials had no authority over them. Were these new monks really so harmless? Under their white cloaks, the Templars secretly wore armour and carried weapons. For the time being, they remained hidden. And so, soldiers became servants of the Church. Their power was without limit. In every one of his sermons, the Pope suggested to the laity that it was, of course, on account of their many sins, their fault that the Crusades were unsuccessful. The faithful agonised over their own imperfections. Most certainly, God had abandoned them. Was it not at this time that the word "feudal" came into common use? Each nobleman, major and minor, felt he had lost something of his rights and power. In hiding from their shame, people sought to be alone: they locked themselves away behind the walls of their castles and avoided guests. It became a time of solitude and reflection. Some noblemen left their hereditary estates and entered monasteries. Some monks fled into the forests and became hermits. All decent people in Western Europe prayed for their sins -

whether actually committed or not - to be forgiven. They prayed, fasted, tortured and flogged themselves. The land, the castles, the palaces - all fell improbably in price. The peasants were handing over their livestock and harvests to the landlords almost for free. Someone, however, was buying up all this discarded wealth - those silent servants of the Pope, the Templars. It was at this time that the Church became fabulously rich; this was yet another result of the Crusades. Gentiles and Knights A madness hung over Europe. It would mark an entire era - the era of the Crusades. Art, science, and morality would go into decline, and the people would become desperately impoverished. The Church, like a winepress, came crushing down on society, and no one dared resist it. Everyone kept silent. People lived from prayer to prayer, from fast to fast; even their own thoughts were no longer theirs. The peoples of Europe became toys of the Pope. For the latter, this was not enough. He feared that the "madness" would pass, and the people would see through it all. He therefore began readying an army. His own, special corps. Not an order of monks, but an order of warriors. Its creation was a step that had long been considered. It all began far, far away. The idea itself was a stroke of genius: thousands of peaceful pilgrims had been sent to Palestine - in and of itself, a harmless enough undertaking. Great multitudes rushed to see "the land Our Lord trod". Religious fervour enveloped towns and villages during the Crusades like the smoke from a fire. The Pope's people awaited them in Jerusalem. They incensed the pilgrims with things like: "Our enemies control the holy places." The pilgrims seethed with fury and malice. They themselves began talking about new crusades, about protecting the Church, about raising a Papal army. They began proposing such things to the Pope themselves. The Church played upon the tender chords of the human soul. People obediently did whatever the Pope wanted; they were marionettes in the hands of a skilled puppeteer. He even filled their heads with his thoughts. He said, for example, that in Palestine in 1099, the crusaders saw St. George on horseback, a severed head held under the warrior's arm. This was labelled a miracle, and St. George was declared to be a crusader, a knight, and a servant of the Pope. This event was clearly fictitious from beginning to end, but it nevertheless entered the history of the Church. There soon appeared another legend about St. George: the warrior was placed on a horse's back and forced to slay a dragon. Once again, the slaying of a dragon. Once again, a blow aimed at Turkic history. Once again, the sneaking act of a coward. In accordance with the will of the Church, Jargan, the holy figure of Desht-i-Kipchak, became a mounted assassin. The Pope needed him this way - cruel, bloodthirsty, murderous - because Turkic Europe remembered him differently, as a nobleman. There remained, for example, an old Anglo-Saxon legend that was documentary evidence of George's execution in Derbent. In England and other countries, fealty was sworn in the name of St. George. The Turkis had never forgotten their patron spirit. The Pope remembered him well, too. He therefore wanted to make the Turkic hero his servant - a crusader, a killer. Ever since 498, George had been alien to the Catholics; he was now brought closer, and an army of knights was created - for him, not for the Pope. This was the latest ruse of the Church; and, like all the others, it was believed.

A new class was then declared in Western Europe - the knights. St. George the Dragon Slayer became their holy patron. It should be noted that there had been knights in Europe earlier. They were servants of the nobility - horsemen, clad in armour. In battle, they covered the rear of their master. A martial life was the lot of the knight. His profession was the arts of war. This is how it had been ever since the 4th century, since the coming of the Kipchaks. The knights' masters were called "gentiles"; it is from this word that the modern term "gentleman" is derived (gentile - gentilman - gentleman). Rome first heard this Turkic word in 312; it referred to those of noble birth. Gentiles, as the historians of those times wrote, at one time served in the army of Rome, then moved on to conquer the whole of the Empire. They prided themselves on their foreign exalted station and guarded it zealously. Who were these people? Much has been written about them, but the most important detail is always omitted: they lived according to Turkic laws - the laws of the yurts and the khanates. In other words, with their authority. Inside the Empire, this is where their "foreign exalted station" lay. It was the Khan who ruled there. He was called king, duke, or count, and the lands of the yurt were divided among barons. The gentiles' customs were indistinguishable from those of the Great Steppe. The people believed in Tengri, so the Catholics called them pagans. They spoke Turkic and fought on horseback. They never travelled anywhere on foot. They were Kipchaks; everything about them was Kipchak. Ulus? Yurts? Hordesmen? What did they call themselves? We no longer know. In the 12th century, they already had Latin names. Their Turkic sobriquets, however, remained. For example, the famous Sir Lancelot had a domestic name - Telegi. The legendary French knight Charles the Bold was in fact called Temir - or, as the French now write, Temeraire. He was the Duke of Burgundy. It also turns out that King Charles the Great, the founder of France, was known in his lifetime by a completely different name, if one is to believe the documents of those times. His name was pronounced Charla-mag, which in Turkic means "call to glory". This is how it has been preserved in, for example, England, where he is known as Charlemagne. Latin historians later altered many historical names to their own, Latin manner - and History lost much of its former colour. The gentiles, once they became dukes and kings, liked to sit on the floor with their legs drawn up under them. In the chronicles of those times, a note has survived that the French King Louis I, the Pious, received guests in just such a fashion. The floors of his castle were covered with carpets, while piles of pillows were stacked in the corners. Towards evening, the tents (epervier) would be set up in his bedrooms with beds put in them. Indoors, he walked around barefoot in an embroidered caftan (sapan). His palace contained lodgings for guests and separate quarters for women. Alongside the hearth stood the figure of the dwelling's guardian spirit. Figures exactly like this were made in the Altai, and of felt also. The gentiles' feasts were identical to those in Attila's palace. Everything was the same: the horseflesh, the kumys, the airan (sour clotted milk diluted with water); the throne, the jesters, the same Eastern dishes, the same songs and entertainment. True, mounted servants appeared in the halls of the palace; this was indeed something new. Food was brought directly to the table, to the delight of the guests. Folk customs - they never change! One can say that the funeral ceremony for gentiles was the same as the Kipchaks': the deceased's horse was buried along with him. Their bodies were embalmed according to Altai

custom. This is how the English King Edward III was buried in 1376, the French Count Gaston of Foix in 1391, and many other important liege lords. They departed this world like true Kipchaks. The Church then forbade burial with one's mount. No more burial mounds would be seen in Western Europe; they disappeared forever. Until the 15th century, the European Kipchaks remained true to their ancient rituals. They were followed down to the smallest details. Feasts were held following funerals, and faces would be shaved and hair plucked out in grief. Everything remained as it had been under Attila, and everything would eventually be forbidden. Gentiles considered it a disgrace not to keep one's word, or to insult a woman. For such offences, knights beat the guilty one with their fists; he was beaten until his helmet would slide off his head. They had the fist law, which helped to settle much. They would help each other, however, without question. And God forbid that they should either sell or lend something. One wouldn't even be beaten for this; the guilty one's helmet would be torn off his head and flung onto the ground. This signalled the loss of his honour; the offender ceased to be a gentile, and his horse was taken away from him. The only choice open to him after this was either to commit suicide or become someone else's hired man. Also dishonourable was a mesalliance, or an unequal marriage. Marriage contracts were concluded with the families of such warriors. There was no place for aliens here: one had to have four generations of gentile ancestors behind oneself in order to enter into their society and become one of them. People not of noble birth, along with foreigners, could evince themselves; they were given that chance. A feat of arms would make the courageous one the progenitor of a new noble family. The khan (or king) would give him a mark of distinction - an award, or order. Once having been dubbed a "noble man", he would then be received into the gentiles' society. The eldest son would inherit his father's title. Only after his own feat of arms, again recognised with an order, was he granted the right to transfer the noble title to his own children. A new noble family would then appear. This was not enough, however, to become a member of the nobility. The family received all of a gentile's rights only after two more generations of honourable service. The higher the order, the greater the rights. It was hard work, being a Turkic nobleman. One had to live according to a code of honour in which no false step was forgiven. For example, to drop or dip one's banner was considered a most heinous disgrace, and amounted to one's own voluntary death. A man's life was worth less than a farthing among the gentiles, since they valued neither life nor earthly riches - only honour and courage. Youth were trained for combat from childhood. A boy, even if he were of the most noble birth, would be sent to serve as a page at the palace of another gentile. The chores of a page were traditional: looking after his master's horse, cleaning his weapons, doing military exercises and cutting the withes. He would be beaten mercilessly for any transgression. In the Great Steppe, this was called atalyk. Both Attila and Aktash went through it, as well as every other Turkic boy who grew into a famous general - even Aetius. One cannot live without such labours - and one certainly cannot become a man. One must love one's work. A boy would labour on; he would grow up, waiting for a chance to prove himself - to win a tournament among his peers, to distinguish himself in the horse races at a royal wedding, or even better - to triumph in a real battle. This was the dream of every page in Western Europe and of every ulan (a young mounted warrior) in the Great Steppe.

In coming up with the knights' orders, it was as though the Church had looked into the dreams of every young Kipchak. It made these same gentiles "knights" - "Defenders of the Church". This is essentially what happened after the Crusades. The meaning of the words was altered slightly, and everything changed: the feudal lords became servants of the Church. Having created new symbols that immortalised the knights' noble birth, the tamga was dubbed a "coat of arms". It is highly instructive that the sign of Tengri - the equilateral cross remained on many of these devices. Not a Latin symbol - a Turkic one. Three colours - red, white and blue - adorned the knights' banners. These were also ancient symbols of the Altai, the three colours of the Eternal Blue Sky. The Turkis praise heaven to this day with ribbons of these colours. Almost everything was altered at this time. But no one was able to really change anything. The culture of the gentiles remained; the new once again became the old. The knights' tournaments were definitely transformed. Earlier, whole provinces of commoners would turn out to watch these mock battles between gentiles. The fighters would take their time getting ready. The things they came up with were amazing: each tournament was a veritable parade of arms, a display of the military arts. The spectators, assembling for the festivities of strength, argued over the merits of the combatants, placed bets, and hawked their prizes. Hunting falcons were sometimes offered as tournament prizes; more often, though, the prize was a kiss from a noblewoman, a lady. For one of these, knights were prepared to go through fire and water. Tournaments occasionally turned into real battles. For example, in 1274 King Edward and his English knights had a go at the Count of Chalons and his Burgundians. They fought quite conscientiously - many Papal knights were lost in this battle, and they were eventually forced to yield. The Pope used this as an excuse to outlaw all tournaments. He ordered all those who violated this ban excommunicated from the Church, and forbade their burial in consecrated ground; they were to be ruthlessly oppressed. The tournaments, however, were by no means ended - nor could they have been. They were a school of courage, and not only for the young. The Pope then ordered that the fighters go into battle with lighter armour, and that their weapons deliberately be blunted. Everything was at once reduced to play-acting, and the tournament was transformed into theatre - nothing more than a pretty show. This meant death for the professional warrior caste: the abolition of actual fighting led to disaster. Once they were used to mock combats - theatrics - knights began losing real battles. Tragedy, as is well-known, always happens unnoticed. The descendants of the khans also failed to notice how they had learned to hold the stirrup for the Pope whenever he mounted his horse. They, the nobles of the Turkic people, having become servants of a living person, perished. No, it was not the knights who perished then, but the Kipchaks of Western Europe. Their nobility. Because the nobles dipped their banners, and this was death. A nation should dip its banner only to God. For Him, and only for Him, may one hold the stirrup. Turkic speech was heard less and less often in the knights' castles in the 13th throughout the 14th centuries, until it died out - forever. The Seljuk Turkis During the Crusades, the East took Byzantium's place as the Devil's offspring. Many reasons were found to hate the Moslems. It turned out that they revered the cross, Jesus Christ (Isu), Moses (Musu) and St. George (Djirdjis), and it was difficult to come to terms with these

inequities. The West felt vulnerable. It should be noted that at this time the East and the West were not very different from one another. They just seemed different; the traditions of Tengri were being carried on in both, the Turkic service to God lived on in both. It was politics, not religion, that divided the people. The Pope, having become head of the Christians, now wished to become head of the Universe as well. He was dubbed nothing less than The Intermediary Between God and His People, Christ's Deputy on Earth. Another view of the future was held in the Caliphate, however: it did not want to be transformed into a colony again. So the East, knowing the disposition of the Roman Catholic Church, began to distance itself from Rome even farther. Earlier, when the Catholics and the Moslems had a common enemy Byzantium - they did not look for differences between themselves. Sultan Seljuk, the founder of the Caliphate's new dynasty, in conquering Eastern Byzantium, marched almost all the way to Constantinople, but didn't touch the city. In the 11th century, under Sultan Alp-Arslan, the best lands in Asia Minor de facto subjected themselves to the Caliphate, and once again, the Arabs did not touch Byzantium. Why did they let such a prize slip through their fingers? The country was hanging by a thread and could have become easy prey militarily. The Moslems did not take it, though, because they had given the Byzantines the right to choose their own religion - and, subsequently, their fate. Once they were acquainted with Islam, almost all the Christians in the eastern provinces of Byzantium accepted it, and did so voluntarily. This, of course, had repercussions within the country: the word of the Emperor became a hollow sound. Palace intrigues and coups d'etat began. Byzantium was growing weaker before one's eyes. The Caliphate, however, still did not interfere. It waited. The Catholics used the lull in the storm to launch a new Crusade. It was the fourth; by now, they no longer even thought about the Holy Land. In 1203, their fleet dropped anchor near Constantinople. Almost 20,000 crusaders disembarked and began setting up camp. The Army of the Pope stood before the city - knights wanting to settle the fate of the Byzantine throne in one fell swoop. They didn't settle anything, however. During negotiations, the Greeks lied to them. Realising they'd been deceived, the crusaders prepared to storm the city. To anyone else, an attack would have seemed absurd. The huge city had an enormous army: 100,000 soldiers, made up of Norse mercenaries and Kipchaks from Eastern Europe. They hadn't been paid, however, and they didn't want to fight. Even though the army was huge, it might just as well not have been there. Time was on the side of the knights: their bravery paralysed the enemy with fear. And not just bravery. The Pope knew that the end was nigh for the empire of the Greeks. It was disintegrating; the people were at a crossroads of faith and there was no unity among them. If this were so, they could be taken barehanded, with a minimum of forces. This time his assessment would be absolutely correct. The order was finally sounded. On April 9, 1204, under a deafening roar of drums, the crusaders hoisted their banners. The storming of the city - or, more accurately, the battle between David and Goliath - began. The tiny fleet sailed against the huge giant. The attack was repulsed. Three days later, however, a new attack was launched. And the giant fell. The feast of the victors began. It went on for a long time: for two weeks, Christians killed other Christians. Women and children were tortured. Mountains of corpses filled the streets; there was no time to bury them. Constantinople, where no enemy had ever set foot, surrendered to the mercy of the Papal sword. There was enough booty for everyone. Valuables filled sack after sack. As one eyewitness

wrote, "not since the beginning of the world had so much been looted in one city…. He who had earlier been poor became rich and propertied". Pope Innocent III rejoiced upon hearing that the Greek capital had been taken. However, he wrote an angry letter to the crusaders. This was a deliberate deception. In cursing them, he praised them - and he praised himself. The crusaders gave Byzantium a new name - the Latin Empire, in honour of the Pope. On May 9, 1204, Baldwin of Flanders was elected Emperor. The new country wasn't too successful, though: it soon perished, due to its own weakness, and split into different commonwealths and khanates. Its ports passed into the hands of the Templars - the new masters of the Mediterranean Sea. From this time on gold from the trade with the East flowed into the Pope's coffers. Of course, the Moslems could have intervened in these events. The Caliphate's army was never far away, and a troop of knights would have been no match for it. It made absolutely no move, however. The treasures of Byzantium held no attraction for the Arabs. For the East they remained cold and alien. As before, the star of Enlightenment dawned over the East of the Middle Ages. Once again, gold was not its main aim. The Moslem rulers devoted themselves to architecture, art and the sciences. Whether this was good or bad is not for us to say. But it was clearly not gold that ruled among them. …The inheritors of Byzantium declared themselves the Trapezus and Nicaea empires. True, the word "empire" is, perhaps, a bit too strong a term for them. We are talking here of two very small countries. In the former, the relatives of the Georgian kings held power; in the latter, the Greeks. Trapezus was supported by the horsemen of the Queen Tamara. She had placed as rulers there her distant relatives, the brothers Alexius and David, who had adopted the name "the Grand Comneni". It was said that their clan came from the Kuman ("Swan") Steppe, which lies between the Don and the Dnieper, in the very heart of Desht-i-Kipchak. Everyone there was called kumani or komani. Their guardian spirit was the swan. The relative of the Brothers Comneni was famous for having founded the Batchkov Monastery. Georgian youths from noble families would be brought here - once again, to the Great Steppe - to be educated. The ruling brothers were themselves blue-eyed, fair-haired and very handsome, like all Kipchaks. It was no accident that the Comneni should have appeared in the Transcaucasus. In the 11th century, King David the Builder invited 40,000 families from Desht-i-Kipchak to come and settle in the Transcaucasus. Turkis, who made up the backbone of his army, had brought all the little principalities together into the unified state of Georgia. Or, more accurately, Gyurdji, as it and the blue-eyed Georgians who radiated the warmth and strength of the Great Steppe were called. It was the Golden Age of the Transcaucasus, and its neighbours learned of a new land; every second princely clan there had Turkic roots. In 1118 King David himself married a second time, to the sister of a famous Kipchak, Khan Konchak - the same Khan Konchak who captured the Russian Prince Igor and held him for ransom. And the man who made Queen Tamara happy was also a Turkic khan - Utamysh…. With the arrival of the Turkis in Georgia, a new script appeared: mkhedruli, or "the warriors' handwriting". Like Turkic script, it had 38 letters. On the surface, it recalled the writing of the ancient Turkis. The possibility cannot be excluded that the rulers of the Trapezus Empire wrote their orders and decrees in it. As politicians, these two ruling brothers turned out to be too intolerant. They had courage, but not a great deal of skill. They could have won, but lost instead. For in life one cannot live

without a faith and without allies. In a word, like birds caught in a cage, they became vassals of the Caliphate in 1215. In tribute every year Alexius paid the Sultan 12,000 gold coins, 500 horses, 2,000 cows, 10,000 sheep and 50 sacks of various goods. Most important, he was obliged to hold the Sultan's stirrup whenever he went riding. Trapezus ignominiously fell from the orbit of world politics: like a meteor, it flashed and burned out in the sky. The Seljuks could have decided the fate of all Byzantium's successors then and there. However, a new force appeared in the world - one which grew ominously, like a storm cloud on the horizon. Its name was Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan After Attila, the Turkic world was dying slowly. It was engulfed in internecine strife. From Baikal to the Atlantic, from Muscovy to the Indian Ocean, trouble was always afoot. Turkis preyed upon Turkis for centuries and without mercy. Almost all the wars that were fought following the collapse of Rome were their wars. Kipchaks served in all the warring armies - some for the Italians, some for the Byzantines, some for the Arabs - and still others for themselves, or for someone else. War had long since become the nation's way of life. In the 5th century, having been deprived of its future, Attila's empire was split by petty squabbles. Internal troubles weakened the Caliphate, too. The Moslems had once had a strong army. They were unrivalled in politics, science and the arts. Many things happened to change this, however. They were not, though, done in by disputes among their rulers; these have always been and will always be. No, the fate of the Caliphate was decided by a single blow dealt from the East. The Arabs themselves had summoned it. It was the Altai that dealt them the killing blow. After the Great Migration of the Peoples, the Altai was an island lost in an ocean. It was as though mankind had forgotten all about it. They knew about the Roman Empire, Byzantium and the Caliphate; about the Altai they knew nothing. It then reminded the world of itself. It was reminded by the birth of a great Turki, a genius for all times and peoples. His parents named him Temuchin. The boy was born in Delegun-Buldak, a holy place on the banks of the Onon. The Kerulen meadows were the first see him. The child's father, Yesugei-bagatur, ruled in the foothills of the Altai. He upset his envious foes too greatly, however, and they poisoned him. They wanted to kill the dead ruler's family as well. In their way, though, rose his son with a sword in his hand. The brave lad was just 13 years old. However, a sweeping flame blazed in his eyes and his face glowed with the radiance of victory. His enemies, having got a good look at him, were fairly taken aback with surprise. This saved the boy, and they let him go without touching him. He went very far away. He lived in the forest, hunting and fishing to stay alive. He grew into a strong young man, and gathered a number of warriors around him. Years went by, and the name of Temuchin was spoken with trembling voice: even mature warriors bowed before the youth's intelligence and fearlessness. Everything occurred just as in the legend of At-syz: the disposed son set off into a foreign land to make a name for himself. This is indeed what happened.

The youth restored the glory of his father. From the skull of the man who had poisoned him Temuchin made a winecup. The Turkis would say from that time on: "The heart of any matter can be seen, once it is finished for good." Only then did Temuchin acquire power over the Altai. He was dubbed Genghis Khan; that is, the Great Khan, the Unbending Khan. No other name would have suited him. The new ruler would seek to restore an ancient state - the Great Altai. The first thing he did was put an end to the internal strife that had rent the people. He put together a code of laws (they were called yasa, tura and adat) and had them read out to the people. The "Yasa of Genghis Khan" punished trickery, treason, failing to come to the aid of a warrior on the field of battle, and thievery. The penalty for violating the Yasa was death. This was how criminals were dealt with in the Ancient Altai, and this is what Genghis Khan would do, too. The Turkis would remember their ancestors. Everyone was at once made just to everyone else: the deaf began to hear, the blind to see, the mute to speak. Both ruler and slave now lived according to the Yasa; internal strife was no longer even thought of. "The word of my lips shall be my sword," declared Genghis Khan. Everyone understood exactly what he meant. The Yasa of Genghis Khan was the Constitution of the Altai; at least, that's what it would be called today. No one in the world observed the law as strictly as the Great Khan himself. Even his enemies couldn't stop talking, once they saw how just his rule was. Everyone knew that punishment was unavoidable. There would be no indulgences - not for anyone. Genghis Khan's greatest achievement, however, was not the Yasa. "People of different faiths should live together in peace," he proclaimed. "We shall once again be brothers." This lucid thought had not occurred to any other world leader: everywhere, in both the West and the East, religion divided nations and caused them to quarrel with one another. Here, in contrast, it united them. It is striking, indeed: Christians and Moslems argued over whose faith was better, while the Altai Turkis reminded them of the One and Only God who created the world, and of His religion. "What does 'better' mean?" they asked themselves and others. "He is in Heaven, He sees all, He judges all. The world is perfect, because it is ruled by the Almighty." The faith of Tengri promulgated by the Altai also united its different peoples under the banner of Genghis Khan and inspired confidence in his government. People of different religions became aware that they all had but one Father - the Almighty. There is evidence that even Englishmen came to serve the Great Khan. It is possible that they no longer called themselves Turkis, but they came to fight for the faith - the pure faith - nevertheless. This fact is very instructive, for Genghis Khan allowed his subjects to practise Christianity, Islam or Buddhism as they chose - only, however, after praying to Tengri. "One must believe in God in one's soul," he said, "and victory will be yours." The Khan understood this truth when he reached the age of 27. It was then that he reconciled the quarrelsome Turkis. He was dubbed Sutu-Bogdo, the "Son of Heaven". The Turkis had once again become a Nation. Genghis Khan and his people are sometimes called Mongols. However, eyewitnesses related that the Great Khan had blue eyes and a red beard. His father had green eyes, hence his sobriquet "the Green-eyed" (Bordjigin). Father and son were both of a distinctly Kipchak appearance. Who were they in fact? Certainly not Mongols! The word Mongol, as the Mongolians themselves have made clear, first appeared in the 11th century. It referred not to a specific nation, but to certain tribes of eastern Turkis - the Tele. Why? Unfortunately, many details here are not clear. It is possible that, by calling themselves "Mongols", these tribes wished to distinguish themselves from the western Turkis of the Altai,

with whom they were constantly at odds. Or, possibly, the answer lies elsewhere. In any case, though, it was in 1206 that Genghis Khan announced: "The people that has allied itself to me against all others; the people that has armed my powerful thoughts with their great strength…. I wish for this people, pure as mountain crystal, to be known as the Keke-mongol ('Heavenly Fortune')." It would seem that this was the origin of the word "Mongol". On the lips of Genghis Khan it meant not a nation, but "fortune, sent from Heaven above". There was great portent in this word; it proved to be well-founded. Genghis Khan, a Dinlin Turki, was received by his brothers, the Tele Turkis, and became their ruler…. On this occasion it was said in the Altai that "He has sold his sword in order gain a name." This was exactly what Genghis Khan's forebears had done a thousand years earlier in leaving to serve in foreign lands. They had gone to the Parthian kings, to the rulers of Persia, India and Egypt. And in these places, they, the anonymous sons of the Altai, founded more than one ruling dynasty. From their midst had come other noble lords of Asia and Europe. "I am a wandering warrior-emperor," said Babur, the future Grand Mogul, in setting off on the long road to fame and fortune. We should note that the words "Mongol", "Mongal" and "Mogul" were fully identical in meaning during the Middle Ages. It was simply that different peoples pronounced them differently. …The first to learn of the might of Genghis Khan were the Chinese, to whom the Turkis of the Altai had paid tribute for many centuries. The Chinese Emperor marvelled at the emissaries of the Great Khan, once they had arrived at his palace; he was amazed by their demand, which was as clear as day. The Altai would itself decide what tribute to pay to the Emperor, that "most insignificant of people". Upon hearing this message, the Chinese were struck dumb. The Turkis soon returned their powers of speech, though. Having breached the Great Wall, they marched into the Celestial Empire and surrounded ninety cities. They then took all ninety. The huge Chinese army groaned with its own powerlessness. The Turkic cavalry smashed it and then quickly disappeared. Genghis Khan's troops always appeared unexpectedly - suddenly, whenever the enemy least suspected it. They would always disappear to whence they had come. In small detachments, the invaders moved about the unfamiliar countryside as if it were their own. How did they manage this? It is customary to think that the Chinese invented the compass, but this isn't so. They had no compasses; only the Turkis did. This helped them orient themselves in an alien land. They also could not have navigated without the wisdom of Genghis Khan. The far-sighted general knew the cities and roads of China very well, almost as though he had seen them himself. He made war with the help of maps, drawn up on his orders. Sitting in his headquarters inside the Horde, he knew what lay ahead for hundreds of kilometres. His troops advanced with confidence; reconnaissance - another of Genghis Khan's achievements - worked impeccably. For this reason there really was no war, as such. The Chinese were dealt blow after blow - always unexpectedly and always at their most vulnerable point. The Turkis needed no large army. Nothing remained for the Emperor's underlings to do, except to receive Genghis Khan's emissaries themselves and agree to pay tribute. A Chinese princess was sent to the Lord of the Altai, along with 3,000 horses, 500 young men and the same number of girls. Copious amounts of gold and silk were also paid. In the conquered part of China, Genghis Khan appointed his own governor and charged him

with completing the subjugation of the country. What might one have expected to see in the prostrate country? Grief, fires and suffering? No. A show of grandeur and the might of one's army? No, again. Genghis Khan would not have been the wisest of the wise if he had not displayed his select nature in a foreign land as well. God revealed to him everything that ordinary people failed to notice, even though it lay in plain view. It is said that the Chinese gave a fireworks display in his honour, with firecrackers, skyrockets and other incendiary devices. Millions of people had seen these over the centuries and they held little wonder for them. Genghis Khan, however, marvelled at them. He did so because he saw not firecrackers, but firearms. Pyrotechnical weapons, the likes of which no one had ever known or even imagined. The Chinese held in their hands the key to the medieval world gunpowder - and they didn't even suspect it. China taught Genghis Khan a great deal. There was much there that amazed him, from the experience of Chinese engineers to the skill of ordinary craftsmen. In China, the foresighted Turki ordered machines for the taking of fortresses built; again, no one in the world had ever made anything like them. Of course, there had been siege engines in the army of the Roman emperors, but they were children's toys alongside the creations of Genghis Khan. "To Knowledge belong the laurels," taught his ancestors. The Great Khan remembered their words; he had studied them all his life and was not embarrassed by it. His army is often written about as "the wild hordes". No one consciously speaks of its technological innovations - for example, about its flaming projectiles, the forerunners of modern artillery. A whole book would be needed to tell about Genghis Khan, the general. He was an artist on the field of battle, always coming up with something special and unique. It is said that every horseman was given two mounts, so that he could alternate them during a campaign. The army became twice as fast and twice as tough, and its movements twice as fast and unexpected. In the ordinary steppe barb he saw a new kind of defensive weapon - the iron caltrop. The Turkis used these to break up enemy attacks and to discourage any pursuit. Everything in his army was unique and inimitable, like in the workshop of a great artist. After China, the Caliphate was next to rise up in Genghis Khan's way. The Sultan Muhammad, who now ruled there, conducted himself far too unworthily. He simply didn't know whom he was facing. The Sultan looked like a slave who had stolen his master's clothing. In fact, his forebears had once been slaves of the Seljuks and had turned against them. He, too, behaved the way they had, and bore himself like a slave. Insulted by his misdeeds, the Moslems themselves turned to Genghis Khan for help - to the "Great Defender of All Turkis", as they wrote in their petition. They had had enough of the sultan with the soul of a slave. Genghis Khan, however, did not want to go to war against the Moslems. Instead, he suggested a joint trade along the Silk Road. In 1218 he sent a caravan laden with valuable merchandise across the Sultan's lands. A slave is a slave, however, even in the cloth es of a sultan: he dreams of swindles at night, because he is continually dishonest with himself. Sultan Muhammad ordered an attack on the peaceful caravan. The merchants were killed and the goods stolen. Genghis Khan, via his emissaries, then demanded satisfaction. Suspecting the emissaries of being a threat, however, the Sultan ordered them slain. Mistrust comes much too hastily when one is dealing with a high-minded Turki. His response followed almost immediately.

First, however, Genghis Khan, in accordance with the ancient traditions of his people, scaled the heights of the Holy Mountain and prayed to Tengri. For three days and three nights he waited for an answer. For three days and three nights not a crumb of bread or a drop of water passed his lips. Only the wind cooled his body, slaking his thirst. When he came down off the mountain, his army knew what to do. Upon seeing their General, the troops began chanting "Ten-gri! Ten-gri!" and started to pray. Faith truly does clear the mind, and this is what happened on this occasion. Seven hundred thousand horsemen were gathered under the banner of the general and his sons - all the Altai. In Central Asia, two great forces prepared to meet on the field of battle. Not even in Attila's time had the world seen such battles: the Altai against the entire Moslem world. Head-to-head. The Battle of Syr-Darya began early in the morning and ended only after it had become dark. The smug Sultan lost half his army in this one battle. Only then did this vain slave understand against whom he had raised his hand - against an army over which a guardian spirit had spread his wings. "The Day of the Wrath of the Lord has arrived," the Moslems began to say. Fergana, Otgar, Khojent, Bukhara, Samarkand - Genghis Khan took virtually all the cities of Central Asia. His siege engines worked perfectly, and the gates of the cities were smashed into splinters…. "O people, the enormity of your sins is obvious. I have come, the Wrath of the Almighty, the Messenger of the all-powerful God, His terrible Retribution," said the Son of Heaven in Bukhara, in the city's main mosque. All bowed before him, for they saw the truth in his words. Heavily laden with booty, the army returned home so that the sovereign of the Turkis might enjoy life and his old age. In 1227, the general departed on his final campaign - the longest one, from which there is no return. Tengri-khan received his shining soul. The Sulde of Genghis Khan They called his banner Sulde. It was the guardian spirit of the Turkic people, its "life force" (as the word is translated). With it they went into battle, and with it the warriors of the Great Altai were victorious. The Sulde and the Yasa of Genghis Khan helped the Turkis in their darkest hours. They were the Voice of Heaven. They gave the people confidence and strength. Their presence was felt immediately and by all. For example: In 1222, when Derbent, Tbilisi and other cities of the Caucasus were taken by one of Genghis Khan's reconnaissance elements, Khan Djebe brought them the news of Genghis's Sulde and Yasa. The Turkis living there subjected themselves to him, the Great Khan's emissary, without a fight. The people understood: he had brought them the symbols of the holy war begun by the Altai a war for the rebirth of the Turkic nation! Khan Djebe's detachment was not that large. He had only 25,000 horsemen, but he cut a swathe from Samarkand to the Dnieper - a feat comparable to the campaign of Alexander the Great. However, he accomplished many times more than all of Alexander's army did. How to describe all this. Contemporaries did not understand it and historians have failed to explain it. Was it boldness? Roguishness? Clever absurdity? All these are possible, and more. The campaign, though, was calculated with mathematical precision. It was simply amazing: the scouting force rode into unknown territory as if it were the front yard of its own home. Once again, the compass and maps came in handy.

Once again, the force moved like a ghost - like messengers from Heaven. Once they had encountered it and seen its strength, none of the Kipchaks dared lift their eyes to the banner of Genghis Khan. On bent knee and with lowered head, all bowed before it. Those who opposed the Yasa were simply dealt with according to the law. This is what happened to the Kipchaks of the Northern Caucasus who drew their swords against the holy Sulde - and paid the price. Unfortunately, this campaign of Khan Djebe remains largely unstudied. Contemporary accounts differ too widely. One chronicler might have written about it with joy; another, not so happily - especially if he were an enemy of the Great Steppe. Such people would always choke on their bile whenever they spoke of it or of Genghis Khan himself. There is one fact, however, that cannot be denied: the reconnaissance force entered the Khanate of Greater Bolgaria. It rode in easily, without meeting any serious opposition, since it followed and proclaimed everywhere the Yasa of Genghis Khan…. This incursion was not the invasion of an enemy, as the horsemen were not advancing across alien territory. They had come to liberate Turkic lands that had been exhausted by internal strife and devastated by the brigandage of the Byzantines. Greater Bolgaria had been seriously ill since the 9th century, after the Emperor Leo Isaur - to its eternal misfortune - aligned it with Byzantium. From the very start the Greeks "inspired" the Bolgar Turkis with Christianity. They then subjugated them to their Greek Church. Afterwards, they began robbing them along the lines of the Catholics, who had seized power over all of Western Europe. It was no accident that one of the Byzantine emperors had the sobriquet "the Bolgar-fighter". He earned the name with his victory over Greater Bolgaria. The most horrible tortures pale before what the conquering Greeks did there. Fifteen thousand Kipchaks had their eyes put out, so that they could not see Heaven - and not pray to Tengri! It was the Greeks who had set the Bolgar khans against one another. As they began to assert their power out in the Great Steppe, the discord among the Turkis was to their liking. Like an enormous bonfire, Europe's east was set ablaze by this new kind of Greek fire. A tragic misunderstanding enveloped the Great Steppe. In the heat of the general conflagration, Khan Bogur was the first to betray the Turkic people. In 852, he - known now as King Boris or Bogoris - having instigated an uprising in Greater Bolgaria, committed his treason. The rebels decapitated the heads of fifty-two noble Turkic families. Bogur became king, dubbing his subjects not Kipchaks, but Slavs . To consolidate his position, this traitor brought Greek Christianity to his people in 864-865. He took for himself the name Michael, in honour of his godfather -Byzantine Emperor Michael III. The Greeks helped him, and he helped the Greeks. The Pope had more than once had a hand in the "illness" of the Steppe. This was, however, a completely different story - one that was neither particularly bloody nor cruel. It is the story of how the soft voice of the Devil made the other Kipchaks of Eastern Europe recognize the power of the Pope. Following their baptism, they became Moravians, Czechs, Poles, Austrians, Croats, Hungarians…. It is, though, a tragic and obscure story. In 882, the Norsemen, the allies of the Byzantines, captured the northern part of the Khanate of the Ukraine. Kievan Rus arose - and with it, a new "illness" of the Steppe. Here, too, the descendants of Attila became "Slavs" and "Christians" without even understanding why. …One can conclude that Genghis Khan's scouts to the West were not sent by mere chance; it was foreordained by History. The Great Khan knew perfectly well what was happening in Europe. "The Turkis must recover their lost name," he decided.

Khan Djebe and his right-hand man Subutai (Sudebei) brought the holy Sulde from the Altai to the east of Europe. It became the medicine for all the illnesses of the Turkic nation. The Leader ordered his scouts to go "as far to the west as you can, until you can no longer find a Turki". Khan Djebe rode only forward, wishing to resurrect the name and honour of his people. He needed no foreign lands. Genghis Khan's scouts made no conquests. They quietly reconnoitred bivouac sites for the troops who would soon arrive. From the local Kipchaks they appointed officials - marshals who would collect taxes for the army and exercise authority. Everything was put down in writing, and everything was placed under their control. Like skilled healers, they carried out a mundane but vital task: they treated sick lands. Those days are now recalled by words which first appeared then: A marshal was called a yesaul (the title later given in pre-Revolutionary Russia to a Cossack captain); a yamshchik (the old Russian word for a coach driver) was the man who stamped one's passport at a yama (postal station); and a daroga (the origin of the Russian word doroga, or "road") was one responsible for maintaining order and communications along a highway. A mouse could not have escaped the attention of Djebe and Subutai. It was thanks to this that they restored order to government. In 1223, the reconnaissance force reached the borders of the Western world. These borders were established by the Pope - or, more exactly, by the power of the Church, which was now fully subject to him. Kievan Rus had been the eastern bulwark of an invisible papal empire. It is possible it didn't even know that by adopting Christianity, it had become a colony of the Pope. It was here, however, in the steppes of the Ukraine, that East and West at this time came together. It was here, therefore, that they would have to engage in a trial of strength, just as in the days of Attila. The conflict between them was unavoidable. Of course, it started not just on account of the heinous murder of Genghis Khan's emissaries in Kiev. It was all much more complicated than that: a clash was occurring between two completely different world views - two cultures, two truths. Each was defending itself and upholding its own way of life. On May 30, the famous battle with the Russian princes began. Their army was four times the size of Khan Djebe and Subutai's detachment, and help had been sent from Europe. Everything was on their side - except God. The battle began unusually. First, Khan Djebe's element convincingly demonstrated that they didn't know how to fight. They then pretended to be frightened and began a hasty retreat. It was all a ruse - a piece of military art that Genghis Khan had used before against a superior force. The Russian princes knew nothing of this, however, and set off in pursuit of the enemy. Their army was soon spread out over many dozens of kilometres. Their overwhelming superiority melted away, like snow in the springtime. Only at the River Kalka did the Kievan Prince Mstislav understand what had happened; by this time, it was much too late. It was at the Kalka that the real battle began. Few Russians emerged from the battle alive. Six princes, seventy boyars and tens of thousands of their subjects were left on the field. The reconnaissance force easily crushed the huge army, on which the Pope had wagered everything in declaring a "Second Rome" in Europe's east. The Kipchaks, having forgotten the Altai, learned a good lesson. True, they would eventually reply in kind - they would get revenge for the Kalka. But without the Russians. The autumn of that year descended coolly upon the force of Djebe and Subutai after they had crossed the Itil (Volga). A response worthy of a Turki - correct?

The Yoke That Never Was This remarkable campaign still leaves many people perplexed: beginning with its defeat on the Kalka, Russia would forever talk about the Tatar-Mongol yoke. The victory of the Great Steppe did not go down in History as either a victory or a defeat, but as the disappearance of the Kipchak nation from the face of the Earth. It was simply miraculous. Allegedly, the Kipchaks, after their great victory, handed over their towns, villages, fields and pastures to the defeated Russians and just went someplace else - where, nobody knows. It is hard to imagine that a nation of many millions simply vanished - all by itself, voluntarily, in the wink of an eye and without a trace. This is, however, precisely what the official history claims. Could such a thing have really happened? Common sense dictates that there weren't enough Russians in the world to take advantage of such a princely gift; there weren't enough to populate all the cities on the Don alone. And the Don area wasn't the Great Steppe, just one small part of it. Rus was a hundred times smaller than the Steppe. So - was the "yoke", along with everything connected with it, just made up?! That's exactly right - it was all a lie. We know when it first appeared: in 1823. We also know where: in St. Petersburg. And we know with whom: a high school teacher. Unfortunately, there are many distortions in the history of nations. All sorts of them. Generations of people have grown up on them - people from whom the truth about their ancestors and about themselves has been hidden. As it was routine in Western Europe, so it has been true of Russia since the 18th century. Everything happened differently, of course. The campaign of Khan Djebe and Subutai stopped Genghis Khan like a bucket of cold water thrown in his face. He understood that he couldn't win a war in the West - the Kipchaks wouldn't let him! The same ones who refused to recognise the Sulde and the Yasa. In 1223, the General's interest in the West had already died out. As often happens in life, it was one incident that settled the matter. Mangush, a son of the Khan Kotyan, was once out hunting in the steppe with his falcon. He ran into Khan Akkubul, a long-time rival of his clan. They could have just kept going, each on his separate way. Had this happened, all of world history would have turned out differently. They didn't keep going, though; they made for each other. And, in single combat, Akkubul killed the young man. No sooner had the sad news reached the Dnieper - the domains of Khan Kotyan - than he gathered his troops and set off for the Don, to attack Khan Akkubul. Kotyan's men had an easy time of it along the Don…. The wounded Akkubul was barely able to escape. Lacking the strength to retaliate, he dispatched his brother Ansar to the Altai to ask for help. It was he who brought the "Mongols" to the Don. This happened five years after the Battle of the Kalka; Genghis Khan himself had died…. Thus began the "Tatar-Mongol yoke", although there was nothing degrading about it. Ige - the origin of the Russian word used for "yoke" - meant "master" in Ancient Turkic. A master had indeed appeared in the Great Steppe - the Yasa, accompanied by the Sulde. There was neither the disappearance of a nation nor the invasion of a "horde of nomads". Nothing of the sort happened. A judge arrived, one who made them submit to the Law. The Yasa especially punished quarrels and dissention among Turkis. The steppe-dwellers put an end to internecine strife and restored peace to their house.

The West set them against one another, and Genghis Khan reconciled them. This is what really happened. On the face of things, life went on as before - only now, it was just a bit different. In recognizing the Yasa, the Steppe remained "their" principality - that is, the Turkis'. They lived on both the Don and the Dnieper, and on the Volga (Itil) - they, and no one else. Forty generations of them had passed there since the time of Khan Aktash. The Kipchaks had long since become the native people of the Steppe. Once they accepted the ige, they, of course, did not change externally. Their lands, however, had already come to be called differently: the Golden Horde, the Blue Horde, and so on…. A new life had arrived; this, too, left its mark. It also left its mark in the new names for the Steppe: they were chosen according to the colours of its banner. Horde by now meant "a land that has recognized the Yasa". The sons of Genghis Khan divided the huge Altai power among themselves, carving it up into hordes headed by a khan. The eldest son, Juchi, got the western lands - the Golden Horde but sent his son Batu there, in his stead. He chose Sarai as the capital of the Golden Horde - the richest city in Eastern Europe. Its fountains and palaces delighted even the Venetians who visited there. Sarai quickly became a crossroads of trade routes, one into which goods from both East and West flowed. Luxury goods of all kinds were sold in its bazaars. The city was home to skilled artisans whose craftsmanship astonished the Byzantines. For example, archaeologists there have found a coffee service of the finest handiwork, along with exquisite gold jewellery and coins (these are now kept in St. Petersburg, in the Hermitage). The city was famous for its fine library and scholars - this in the capital of the "bloodthirsty" Batu, a "savage", as other historians have called him. The facts, however, prove the opposite. It is known that Batu himself was called Sainkhan by his relatives. This was his household name; it meant "good-spirited". He was, in fact, fat, lazy and unsophisticated - a layabout who loved luxury and idleness, and long talks around the dinner table. He had not the slightest interest in warfare or military campaigns. Of course, Batu sometimes had to fight, and he did so successfully. Not, however, of his own free will. There were 300,000 horsemen under his banner - Kipchaks from the Dnieper, Don and Itil. Among them were "Mongols"; that is, newcomers from the Altai, of whom there were only 4,000. They had been sent by Batu's uncle, Khan Oktai. It was he who appointed Subutai Commanding General of the Golden Horde. This favourite of Genghis Khan would also bring glory to the Horde. Subutai was a decisive man; it was he who forced Batu to act as he thought necessary. Nothing could make him back off. At his insistence, the Hordesmen introduced the Yasa of Genghis Khan to the Ryazan and other Kipchaks in 1237. In 1240 Kiev, which had not adopted the Yasa, learned the price to be paid for such a crime. Buda and Pest, Prague, Cracow, Pozega and other Kipchak cities would soon follow. Thanks to Subutai, Central Europe, home to many Turkis, was reminded of its forebears! It was he, not Batu, who humiliated the Polish, Bohemian, German and Hungarian knights. He was a great master of tactics. Europe had seen few generals of his calibre. The elegance and ease of his great victories were astonishing. Subutai waged war strictly according to the covenant of Genghis Khan. This commanded him to go forward until he reached the end of the Turkic world. He would conquer no others; he would reconquer only his own. This is why, in 1238, on the road to Novgorod, Batu's troops turned back. They were not, of course, afraid of anyone. It was simply that Subutai had seen that there

were no Turkis there, and this meant it was a foreign land. They imposed tribute on it, then left. In the 13th century, the Turkic world ended at the Moskva River. The lands of the FinnoUgric peoples stretched on into the north. Foreign lands. Alien lands. Back then, "to impose tribute" did not mean "to conquer"; rather, it meant "to form an alliance". "Tribute" was both an agreement and a tax. It was neither a bloody nor a fearsome word. Genghis Khan had ordered that weak allies were to be protected, and Batu followed his wishes - perhaps a little too genially. The Yasa of Genghis Khan obliged him to protect any city and any country in return for worshipping the God of Heaven and for recognizing the authority of the Khan. The Khan demanded nothing more of the tributary - just the sincere worship of God. This was the only tribute that Rus paid to the Golden Horde under Batu. In return for this the Turkis protected their tributary from its foreign enemies. For example, the Principality of Novgorod was protected by Khan Aliskander. He, the son of a prince of Vladimir and a Kipchak princess, was raised in Batu's palace and was foster brother to his son Sartakh. Both boys grew up listening to the songs of the Steppe. It was horsemen of the Golden Horde that Khan Aliskander led in his famous Massacre on the Ice in 1242; it was they who taught the "canine knights" a lesson they would never forget. Hordesmen and not Russians, for the Russians at this time had no army; they sent their young men to serve in the Horde, as their treaty demanded…. One must conclude that Khan Aliskander and Alexander Nevsky are two completely different people, rolled up into one man. In the 18th century, when the history of Russia was being "adjusted", the Khan became "Nevsky", the Russian saint. He could not have been "Nevsky", however, since he did not take part in the Battle of the Neva. This was fought between the armies of the Swedes and the Finns and did not take place on Russian territory. Batu is also a man with a dual history. He certainly did help the Church; under his "TatarMongol yoke" it was the Russian monasteries that benefited most of all. Their number grew several times over across the country. "Let those who pray to Heaven, pray to Heaven," said the Khan. He freed the clergy from paying taxes and energetically built new churches; his own son, Sartakh, was ordained as a deacon. True, Batu himself never became a Christian, knowing that funeral services were held in churches; he was deathly afraid of cadavers. His wife, however, did become a Christian. It was apparently no accident that the Pope's agents - Venetians, this time - spent a great deal of time in Sarai as Batu's guests. They succeeded in inclining him towards Christianity - he was the first in the Horde to doubt the faith of his father and grandfather. The Khan's actions would soon be akin to treason. Batu twice betrayed the Horde and twice betrayed the Turkic world. This fat clown began to quarrel with the nobility. They openly despised him for his betrayal of the faith and for his laziness. At first Batu bore their contempt in silence. He then complained to his uncle. Finding no support there, he then began, with all the cruelty of a weak man, to destroy those whom he found hateful. Trouble descended on the Horde. Many heads would roll at the hands of Batu's executioners. The nobles quickly began to flee the country. Some rode into the Caucasus to hide from this mad descendant of Genghis Khan, whom they could not kill and did not wish to see. Other nobles took refuge in Western Europe. Still others raced to the north, to the lands of the Finno-Ugric principalities, which were not subject to Batu. Tver, Kostroma, Muscovy and other forest settlements took in the newcomers from the steppes.

It was from these newly arrived Turkic nobles that the Russian aristocracy would emerge: the Kipchaks took Russian names and entered into the service of the Russian princes. Rus was fabulously enriched. The Aksakovs, Arakcheevs, Bulgakovs, Godunovs, Golitsyns, Kutuzovs, Kurakins, Nakhimovs, Ogarevs, Pushkins, Suvorovs, Turgenevs, Tolstois, Chirikovs, Usupovs…. Three hundred noble Turkic families took up residence in Rus. Three hundred noble families. The flower of the future aristocracy. The very best, the most worthy. They had left the Great Steppe and their native Turkic world, forever. It was from them, and not from Kievan Rus, that modern Russia came. They, the Turkic nobles, following the example of their ancestors, "sold their swords for the sake of a name" and became the aristocrats of another country. Even Russia's Romanov tsars were Turkis by blood - their genealogy can be traced to the clan Kopyl. Thus, through his caprice, the stubborn Batu created Russia. It was due to his heavy hand that the settlement of Muscovy was transformed from a backwater into the Principality of Moscow. It would not become famous for trade or for its craftsmen. It would become famous for the tribute that its new inhabitants would collect "from all the Russias". It would become a policeman serving the Horde. The Inquisition Khan Batu's campaign of 1241 frightened Europe greatly. The Turkic army had by that time advanced as far as the borders of Italy, to the Adriatic Sea. It had crushed the elite Papal troops and was wintering on the Adriatic, preparing for the campaign against Rome. The final outcome was merely a question of time. Batu, of course, was not thinking of the capture of Rome. It was simply that the Catholic Turkis who had settled there should be subject to the leaders of their own people, and not to the Pope. This is what was believed in the Altai as its warriors were sent marching into faraway Europe. It is frightening even to think of what happened that winter. It was truly the end of the world. There was panic and turmoil everywhere. The descendants of Attila awaited the Judgement that was coming from the East. This was all they spoke of. What was it, exactly? No one knew for certain. The Catholics were not afraid of the "Mongols", but of the order they would bring. Under the new order, the Pope's presence on this Earth would have been superfluous…. For example: the inhabitants of Gotland, in Sweden, were so frightened that they not only stopped fishing for herring; they quit going to sea at all, for fear of accidentally leading Batu's army to their homeland. All the markets were shut down, and no one cared; indifference reigned all around. The streets of Europe's cities were filled with people who were blind with fear and knew neither from whom nor where they were running. It was as though they felt themselves guilty of a great crime - but which one? They waited for Batu to come. Day by day, they waited. "O God, save us from the wrath of the Tatars," prayed the Europeans, lifting their eyes to Heaven. A new expression even appeared in England: "To catch a Tatar" - that is, "to encounter an admittedly superior opponent". No attack, however, was forthcoming. At the beginning of March 1242, just as the campaign was about to commence, news reached Batu's headquarters that his favourite uncle, Khan Oktai, had died in the Altai. Batu seemed to become an entirely different person: lost and rushing about in tears, he broke down

completely. He didn't want to hear anything about any campaign. His commanding general was in a most difficult position: without the Khan, he could neither withdraw nor go forward. The army, ripe for a decisive victory, stood at a crossroads. On his knees Batu tearfully begged Subutai to let him go. There was no longer anything left to entice the grief-stricken Khan - not even the prospect of a quick victory. He eventually rode off, casting his army to the whims of fate. In order to deceive the enemy, Commanding General Subutai ordered his reconnaissance force to advance, demonstrating to the Europeans that his intentions were serious. The scouts sacked the cities they cities they encountered - in a word, they acted firmly and decisively. Meanwhile, the army slowly - in order to avoid any suspicion that they were about to flee began to withdraw. Subutai was a master at deception. He declared, for example, that the Altai forgave the European Kipchaks who had betrayed the faith of the God of Heaven. Only then did Europe heave a sigh of relief. Pope Innocent IV then got down to work. He had come up with a daring plan: he decided to turn his enemies into allies. This Pope was reputed to be a great lawyer and a shrewd politician. His forbears were Kipchaks - Langobards - and it was from them, and not from the Romans, that he found support; the Pope came from a long line of foreign knights. In 1245, he sent his personal emissary, the monk Giovanni del Plano Carpini, to the Altai - to the capital of the "Mongol" Empire, the city of Karakorum. The aim of the visit was of the most peaceful sort: the Pope, agreeing to recognize Tengri, proposed that he and the Turkis form an alliance to wage war against the Moslems. It was a clever political move - clever, and unexpected. He sought not war, but an alliance. So that the Altai and the West might stand shoulder-to-shoulder against the Moslem East, and Europe would be saved from another invasion by the Turkis…. It was all very well thought out. The emissary was accompanied by another monk, the tolmach (Turkic translator) Benedict the Pole. They rode across the Great Steppe and saw it with their own eyes - the eyes of spies. Their intelligence-gathering was excellent. They wrote out a full report to the Pope, and then a book. They were the first Catholics to visit the Altai, and to see Eden. Then, in 1253, yet another Papal spy travelled there: Guillaume de Rubrouk. In the 13th century the Church came up with a plan that had been suggested to them by the Yasa of Genghis Khan. It was a brilliant plan, one which they called Inquisition. Its essence was clear and simple: in order to avoid another attack from the Golden Horde, it was necessary to erase forever all traces of the Kipchaks' presence in Europe. It would have to be done in such a way that absolutely nothing of them remained - but how? Camouflage! The Yasa of Genghis Khan bound one not to make war on Europe or Europeans, but only on those Turkis who lived there. "Go forth until you can no longer find a Turki," it commanded. Any farther, and one had to turn back. This is why Batu did not march on Byzantium. Turkic speech could no longer be heard there but it could in Western Europe! The Pope's henchmen once again had the advantage. They began talking about the Inquisition at the Church Council held in Toulouse in 1229, after the Russian defeat on the Kalka. It was discussed again in Lyons in 1245, following Batu's European campaign. The idea was first mooted by the monk Dominic, who proposed creating yet another order the strongest and most terrible of all. So that it might destroy everything Turkic; so that civil

courts would be subordinate to it; so that it could seek out the guilty and investigate them itself, it would be, in a word, both judge and executioner. This is how the Dominican Order was set up. Fierce hounds, sniffing out heresy, were emblazoned on its coat of arms. Everything Turkic was dubbed heresy. Of course, not everyone was happy with this decision. Some Catholics did not want to forget the Turkic language. They did not wish to "camouflage" their native customs. They became the first victims of the Inquisition. They were declared heretics. Incidentally, the word heretic is of Turkic origin - yes, it, too. The Catholic Turkis hadn't come up with anything new; this was what one who rejected the views of the Church was called. In Turkic, eres meant "that which must be repudiated". With the help of the Inquisition, the Catholics "camouflaged" Europe as well. As human beings, it is not difficult to understand them. People now felt that they were Europeans, and not Turkis. The Mongols were their brothers; with a sixth sense, perhaps, they may have realised this. Primarily, though, they saw in them people of a different culture - one that was not European. This now meant they were both alien and hostile. Alien brothers…. They were as different as a prince and a pauper. Each, however, thought that he was the prince. It turns out that in order to be a single people, it isn't enough to speak one language and to share the same roots. A common culture is needed, and there was none; the Great Steppe had for centuries been dissolving. In the West, it was washed away completely. It became part of Europe. Only the heretics, those islands in an ocean of neglect, hinted at the past - at the Turkis. What was that the heretics did not accept? What were they looking for? What did they have to hold onto? Their communities numbered in the dozens in medieval Europe: the Bogomils, the Cathari, the Albigensians, the Oliviti, the Eukhiti, the Joachimites…. Some were reputed to be famous and to have many members; others were not. They had one thing in common, however: they all spoke out against the Church. Or, more exactly, against the darkness that was clouding the skies of Europe. They explained the creation of the world their own way; believing in the transmigration of souls, they stubbornly refused to acknowledge that Christ was on the same order of divinity as God. They believed that there is but one God, and that He is in Heaven. They did not deny the religion of Europe. They merely pointed to the vices that the Church's people had brought to the world. They were outraged that priests, as they called themselves "servants of God", were swimming in luxury and dying from gluttony, while the people who listened to their preaching lived in poverty. It is apparent that these heretics were not really such stupid people. They trusted God with the secrets of their confessions without letting the Pope's servants delve too deeply into their souls. In this way, of course, they also irritated the Church. In the south of France and in northern Italy (which, to use a monks' expression, were "swarming with heretics"), the Cathari became quite notorious. They were once again called Bolgars, Khazars and even Langobards. They, the descendants of foreign noblemen, kept alive the faith of Tengri with their own Church. They were supported in Flanders and in other countries where there lived Turkis who remembered Tengri. The Cathari, for example, believed that the Catholics' ceremonies were excessively rich and sumptuous. "God loves modesty," they insisted. These words, too, irritated the Church which, having grown wealthy, now loved riches, satiety and dissipation. It is curious that the teachings about God which the Cathari preached in the castles of French

gentles coincided surprisingly with those that could be found in the Altai or among the northern Buddhists…. It was the philosophy of the East. This is why the Church branded heretics as stupid. It was no accident that the Cathari were the first to suffer at the hands of the Inquisition. In 1229 they were dealt a palpable blow: they were attacked by crusaders. A great deal of blood then flowed in the lands of Count Raymond of Toulouse. The Kipchaks' descendants fought to their last breath, but the forces were too unequal…. "Drive him and his allies from their castles," cried the Pope. "Confiscate their lands and let true Catholics occupy the heretics' domains." In these words lies the answer to the Inquisition's other mysteries. "Occupy the heretics' domains." The Church never forgot this in implementing its policies including the Inquisition. How did heretics differ from Catholics in the depth of their passions? This is easy to answer. The Papal Legate Arnold Amalrik, for example, advised: "Kill them all, and let God sort them out." True plunder reigned in the 13th century. …It looks as though other Europeans secretly wished for the arrival of the Turkic army. They knew of the Yasa of Genghis Khan, and through their "heresy" let their cousins in the Altai know about them. This assertion may seem arguable, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility. The Turkic nation could not have died peacefully: it fought back and sought new strength in each new generation. It was silenced slowly: the Inquisitors "eliminated people through death". They carried out their work well. However, the people did not, of course, sit by passively; they responded in kind. A long and cruel battle was waged - a battle of life and death. In France, Switzerland, Bohemia and Moravia, Hungary, Poland, England, Germany and Bulgaria…. History has preserved traces of it everywhere. The courts made public the will of the Inquisition. The accused sometimes did not know what he was being accused of or who the witness to the crime was. He was tortured horribly; then, on the town square, to the sound of trumpets and the roar of the crowd, his sentence would be read out. There was neither a trial nor an investigation. The people were terrified. They were instilled with fear, so that they would never oppose a decision of the Church. So that they would shrink, as if from a blow, at each Turkic word they heard. There were three possible sentences: "reconciliation", "loss of property" and "prison". Those who persisted in their heresy were burned alive at the stake. Both people and books were burned. Whole libraries in Turkic disappeared forever in the bonfires of the Inquisition. For the French, English, Germans, Swiss, and other peoples this was their own "household language"; these were their household books. They were the first to be burned. Meanwhile, other valuable books were hidden in the Church's libraries. So that no one would in the future ever suspect they existed…. By the Will of Heaven, something was thus preserved. In addition, certain Turkic books and documents remain intact in secular archives; the Inquisitors simply lost track of them. Judging by papers that have survived entirely by accident, the counts Fugger from the city of Augsburg (next to Munich), still wrote and spoke Turkic in the years1553-1555. This is also mentioned in a work by the Hungarian historian Telegda on the Kipchaks of Europe and their language - a book that came out in 1598. No, this was not even a book; it was the lament of a man whose Homeland had died.

The Descendants of Genghis Khan Historians have long given their attention to the fact that ancient manuscripts in Europe have survived in fragments, as though someone consciously ripped out pages of Time - or poured paint all over them, so that they could no longer be read. Antiquity left behind far more many documents than the period that followed the collapse of Rome. This is why this era was called the Dark Ages. Only in the 15th and 16th centuries did these documents appear in their full volume. What did people once again learn how to read and write? Which papers disappeared completely? All those that were written in Turkic. They were burned, for they contained everything the Church wanted to conceal. The loss of historical documents and their forgery are also traces left behind by the Inquisition - its tragic result. The heretics were destroyed by Dominican monks, documents by the Jesuits - the members of the Society of Jesus. This most frightening Catholic organization was feared even by the Pope. It was subject to no one. Its principle was: "The goal justifies the means." The Jesuit Order was founded in 1534 by the Kipchak Ignatius of Loyola, in order to give the Pope's servants the best education possible. It was called the Order of Scholars. Only educated men were admitted; they conducted their courts and their policies with the help of science. They soon created their own secret empire in Western Europe, taking the science and education in all Catholic countries into their own hands. The Jesuits opened schools, seminaries, and academies where young men - their adherents - were taught. From century to century, they painstakingly built up a new world order - one in which the West and Catholicism stood at the centre. Is it really so surprising that Turkic Europe is now forgotten? This "Order of Scholars" ransacked the archives and purged them, then stole and hid the testimony of the past. Until now there is a library in the Vatican called the Jesuit Library. It is only for members of the Order. In it are kept priceless papers and books - those, at least, that didn't wind up in the bonfires of the Inquisition. They weren't burned; they were preserved so that the Jesuits alone could know the truth about the Dark Ages - and how best to cover it up. It is, after all, an order of scholars. The Jesuits translated some of the old Turkic books into Latin. They are now well-known as books by Latin authors of the Dark and Middle Ages. The history of the world was rewritten by the Jesuits. Everything has been shaken up and stood on its head. Not even the Lives of the Saints escaped the hand of the revisor. The Order has been operating for almost 500 years now. It has eaten away at the truth the way a worm eats holes in wood. The figures tell something about its scale: The Society has 35,000 members, and issues around 1,000 newspapers and magazines, with a total circulation of 150,000,000 copies, in 50 different languages. The Order runs 33 universities and more than 200 of its own schools. This giant empire controls the conscience of the West. Like air, the Jesuits are everywhere. Like air, they are invisible. Papal emissaries first appeared in Moscow thanks to Ivan the Terrible, who opened its doors to them. With their help, the Prince of Moscow prepared for war against the Great Steppe. The Altai Empire of Genghis Khan was doomed. No one in the history of the world has ever withstood the onslaught of the Pope's invisible army. "If weak men are commanded by one who is courageous, then they all will be courageous." Genghis khan was courageous; he gathered the "weak", and gave the world the Altai Empire. The General, however, did not leave behind a worthy successor, and the Pope's agents took

advantage of this. The great Genghis Khan did not mention his sons on his death-bed. "Listen to little Khubilai; his words are full of wisdom." This was the last phrase to come from his dying lips. Genghis Khan's grandson, Khubilai (also spelled Kublai or Kubla), completed his grandfather's triumph in China; he discovered the islands of Indonesia, and stood right next door to Australia. He became Lord of the Far East. There was nothing left for the Chinese Emperor to do but to thrust a dagger into his heart and cry, "Our gods are powerless!" Everyone was captivated by the victories of the young Khubilai. They can, of course, be called by different names. Not, however, "the Conquest of China", since at that time there was no China. There were only provinces that waged ruthless war with one another. The Turkis welded them into a unified country. According to legend, it was they who named China China, or "fenced off" - a reference to the Great Wall. Genghis Khan and his descendants thought to rebuild the medieval world in their own way. They wanted to build; what Attila began, Genghis Khan would continue. Another grandson of Genghis Khan, Hulagu (also spelled Hulegu), completed his grandfather's work in the Near East. He conquered no cities either, but eradicated the sects that were corrupting Islam. He walked the lands of the Caliphate as the grandson of Genghis Khan - the great defender of the Faith and of the Turkis. In 1258, Hulagu took Baghdad, Damascus, and other cities. However, he did not even touch either Mecca or Medina; they were holy cities. Did everything turn out all right for the Turkic world? Hardly. The rays of hope flared up, then died out. Its woes returned with Batu. There is even a saying: "After a rise comes a fall; after a high place, one that is low." This is how life is. Genghis Khan was a genius; his descendants were not. They betrayed the faith of their fathers and lost everything. Batu dreamed of becoming Orthodox; his brother Berke, of becoming a Moslem. Khubilai wanted to be a Buddhist; Mamai, a Catholic. Their enemies corrupted their souls. The great victories of Genghis Khan ended up completely negated. Moreover, the Turkis themselves forgot about them. One cannot doubt God. Doubt is death. Faith in the Golden Horde was shaken just a bit, and its unity disappeared. It was at that moment that the nation died, all by itself. No one actually defeated it, no one pushed it over a precipice. This is how the Horde fell in China: Khubilai became a Buddhist in his old age, and took the Chinese name Shu-tsu. In Chinese, his dynasty was called the Yuan. Khubilai did not retain even the spirit of the Turkis in China: he made Genghis Khan a Chinese national hero. The Chinese now revere their beloved Khubilai. They remember how he sowed the backyard of his palace with sage-brush from the steppe. And, pointing at a tiny meadow that had appeared between two stone walls, he told his children in Chinese, "This is the grass of humility. As you look at it, remember your ancestors." In the Turkic world, the Dark Ages ended with humility. *** When you don't know the key to a cipher, a text becomes a coded message. This is how the Jesuits wrote the history of Europe and Asia - according to the rules of cryptography. The period following the collapse of Rome is here fore now referred to as the Dark Ages. The Great Migration of the Peoples is now forgotten. Turkic culture, which came to Europe along with Attila to take the place of Roman culture, is forgotten. It may be forgotten, but

everything remains in clear view. Our book demonstrates this. Absolutely nothing has been added by our artist to the illustrations. Everything I have chosen to show is well-known and documented. How else can one throw light on the secrets that are hidden in the gloom of the Dark Ages? We have decided that "The light of truth is the best key to a cipher!" List of Illustrations and Commentary Pages 8 and 11 Michel Colombe, "St. George and the Dragon." Marble relief. 1508-1509. Louvre, Paris. The theme of St. George's battle with the dragon entered the art of Western Europe only around the 13th century, when, by will of the Church, St. George became the patron saint of knighthood. Earlier, he was not portrayed as a mounted dragon-slayer. Page 9 Mounted archer. Decoration from a saddle. Bronze. 7th-8th centuries. Khakassia. Page 10 Horseman. Detail from an altar. Bronze. 4th-2nd centuries BC. Kazakhstan. Pages 12-13 Portrait of a man. Vessel from Kafyr-Kaly. Ceramic. 6th century. Uzbekistan. Phidias and his Pupils. Sculpture from the Parthenon. Marble. 5th century BC. British Museum, London Pages 14-15 Attacking Romans (tracing). Column of Marcus Aurelius. Rome. Note the Romans' clothing and weapons, their helmets, and their military tactics. These were uniquely theirs. Battle between steppe dwellers and the Romans. Fragment from a relief on Trajan's Column. Rome. Once again, the two armies could be distinguished by their military garb, as the artist showed. Pages 16-17 Defeated Britons. Relief from Antonine's Wall (built during the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Pius in Scotland. 2nd century. Here, too, the clothing of the vanquished says a great deal. "Julius Caesar." Green shale. Berlin. Antiquities Collection. Hadrian's Wall - the most northern outpost of the Great Roman Empire. 2nd century. Great Britain. Pages 18-19 Sculpture from the St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Prague. The Christian Archbishop Cyril is slaying Hypathia, the woman scholar, for her adherence to ancient science and paganism.

Pages 20-21 Scenes from circus performance. Fragment from a diptych. 5th century. Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Theatre of Marcellus in Rome (1st century BC). Drawing. 15th century. Pages 22-23 Ancient door-handle hammer from Italy. 15th century. Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Such doorhandles could be found in virtually every Turkic home in the Ancient Altai. They remain unchanged to the present day. Statue of the Emperor from Barletta. Fragment. Bronze. 4th century. Pages 24-25 Falcon-shaped clasp. 5th century. German National Museum, Nuremburg. An example of the jewellery produced in the Great Steppe. Such works have often been found in the burial mounds of the Don and the Dnieper, where the secrets of jewellery-making were mastered. Such finds from Ukraine and Russia are now kept in a special vault in the Hermitage; this particular clasp was found in Italy. Snake-shaped bracelet. Bronze. 4th century. Museum of Primitive Art, Berlin. Bust of the Emperor Julian. Chalcedon. 4th century. Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Pages 26-27 Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, interior view. 5th century. Fragment of a find from the catacombs of Rome. Early Christian and Byzantine Collection, Berlin. These European cult items are the only ones that relate to early Christianity. There were no crosses, no icons, and no finds of any other kind in the catacombs. Scholars have proved that the paintings on the walls of the catacombs were done by medieval monks. "Catacomb Christianity" began with Pope Damasus in the 4th century. Figure of John the Baptist from Basel. Silver with gilded features. 15th century. Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Pages 28-29 "The Port in Ravenna." Mosaic from the Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe in Ravenna. 6th century. This port was built by the Turkis for the Empire's new capital. The city, surrounded by mountains and marshes, had no access to dry land. Its road to the outside world began just outside gates to the sea. "The Good Shepherd." Fragment from a mosaic inside the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna. 5th century. This long-tailed breed of sheep was common in the Great Steppe. Right down to the present day, the Turkis consider it a special and very ancient breed. Before the coming of the Turkis, goats were kept in Europe. Pages 30-31 Baptistery in Ravenna, built by Turkic craftsmen in the 5th century. This is where those local inhabitants and Kipchaks who wanted to become Christians were baptized. This was done

according to Altaic tradition, with each person being submerged three times. Painting of the Apostle Peter. 4th century. Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Pages 32-33 Visored helmet. British Museum, London. Its owner is now unknown. There are various opinions on this point, except the Turkic. However, it is obviously the helmet of a knight in the service of the Khan (a gentile) - or, more likely, of the Khan himself. Carcassonne city walls and towers. 12th-14th centuries. France. Pages 34-35 Piero della Francesca. Fragment from a fresco inside the Church of San Francesco in Arezzo. 15th century. Pages 36-37 Baltea of Aosta. Detail. 2nd century. Horse's helmet. From a cache found in Bavaria. 3rd-4th centuries. Note the snake talismans, and the warrior in Roman armour. Obviously, this was the helmet of a warhorse whose master was a Kipchak in the service of Rome. The blending of "steppe" and "Roman" elements was characteristic of that era. Thus, the first King of the Franks, Childeric (d. 482), was interred, like a steppe dweller, in a burial mound, along with his weapons and his richly accoutred warhorse. Pages 38-39 Panorama of Hradcany Castle in Prague - a typical example of Medieval Gothic. Pages 40-41 Fragment from the Diptych of Areobind. Ivory. 506. Judging by the symbolism, the descendants of the first generation of Latin Turkis are depicted here. This is the way they looked: not yet Europeans, but no longer steppe dwellers. Page 43 Detail from a medieval church, built in the Gothic style. Turkic temple architecture was the basis for the Christian style of building; many of Europe's architectural masterpieces are executed in this mode. These include Cologne Cathedral in Germany, Cathedral of NotreDame in Paris, the Houses of Parliament in Brussels, and Westminster Abbey in England. Facade of the Church of Notre-Dame-la-Grande in Poitiers. Pages 44-45 Bas-relief. 5th century. Egypt. Two guardian spirits with the wreath and cross of Tengri which by this time had already become a symbol of Near Eastern culture. Sitting figure. 2nd millennium BC. British Museum, London. The text on this statue is engraved in hieroglyphs, as writing was done on the banks of the Nile. There is not even the slightest resemblance to modern-day Arabic script. Stone capital from the town of Sudagylan. 5th-6th centuries. Azerbaijan. This Runic script is

called Albanian, but no one has been able to read it in that language. Evidently, Turkic speech has not been researched at all. Sample of a Coptic documentary letter. Papyrus. 8th century. Page 47 The world's oldest icon. 4th century. Egypt. It is commonly thought that Christ and St. Mena are depicted here; it is to the latter that the Ancient Turkic word apa (priest) refers. However, the first depictions of Christ appeared only in the 7th century, after the Council in Trullo. Consequently, Bishop Mena accepted Christianity not from the hand of Christ but from that of Tengri, whose image graced all the world's icons in the Dark Ages. Sample of a Coptic letter. Fragment of a manuscript from Nag Hammadi. Papyrus. 4th century. These "characters" were written by an unskilled hand; certain of them are reminiscent of runes. Obviously, the Egyptians were at this time just beginning to master the new way of writing, and the language of the new faith. Pages 48-49 Archbishop Cyril's Dispute with a Pagan. Passage from an unknown work. Limestone fragment. 7th century. Egyptian Collection and Papyruses, Berlin. Yet another example of very expressive Coptic letters. Lion tearing a man apart. Window decoration of the Worms Cathedral. 12th century. Dragon-shaped lamp from Byzantium. Bronze. 4th century. Pages 50-51 "SS. Anthony and Paul." Coptic icon. Fragment. 17th century. The traditions of Coptic icon painting have not changed for centuries. It is instructive that the episode this icon depicts is one from the period of Egypt's baptism. Nothing had changed in a thousand years. Basket with sheep heads and peacocks. Column capital found in Egypt. 8th century. Symbols which tell a great deal, since early Islam was "Egyptian Christianty". The Oguz were the first to separate the Christians and the Moslems. They devised the holiday of Kurban-bairam - the holy day when a lamb is brought to be sacrificed to Allah. There would seem to be nothing unusual about this; in essence, however, it marked the break with Christianity, since the lamb personified the Agnes Dei - Christ. Only after a sacrifice could a man call himself a pure Moslem: his Christian past was gone forever, along with the sacrificed Lamb. Kurban-bairam has been the main holiday of Islam ever since. Pages 52-53 Mary with the Infant. Fragment of a sculpture in an Austrian church. 16th century. Unknown artist of Pisa. "Madonna with the Infant on a Throne". 13th century. Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow. This Italian artist clearly followed the rules of Turkic icon painting: the type of the face, an especially fine nose, and eyes with an Eastern cast. This is inarguably Umai. In the West, the Inquisition changed everything. Umai was renamed the Madonna, and a new face was created for her; the Church ordered her whole image to be reinterpreted. This was preceded by a long intra-Church dispute.

Pages 54-55 Pietro Perugino, "Madonna with the Infant." 16th century. Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow. An example of the "new" icon art: an Infant with neither a halo nor the sign of Tengri, and a Madonna with other facial features. Earlier, the sign of Tengri over the Infant signified that he was the "God's gift". Everything given by the Almighty was considered by the Turkis to be "God's gift". The Infant in the arms of Umai was also a symbol of giving. Knowing about these changes, one can understand the sense of what, at first glance, appears to be the senseless arguments at the Ephesus and other church councils: when talking about Umai, the Christians argued over what she should be called, and how she should be related to Christ. Coptic cloth. Fragment. 4th-5th centuries. Miniature from "The Alexandria World Chronicle." Papyrus. 7th century. Page 56 Hassock with Christian symbols. Wood. 587. Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire. Saint Croix Abbey, near Poitiers. Pages 58-59 St. Benedict of Nursia. Miniature from the Martyrology at the Abbey of the Holy Sepulchre, Cambrai. Cheekbones, the cast of one's eyes, the type of one's face, and the proportions of one's body can tell a great deal about a person. That Benedict of Nursia came from Turkic stock is obvious. The Saint's face and deeds make this clear. "A Saxon Beauty." Detail from the Cathedral of Meissen. Stone. 1357. The Beauty also has a Turkic face. Such faces could be seen on nearly every street there. "The Devil Tempting St. Benedict." Stone. 12th century. Cathedral of St. Madeleine at Vezelay, Burgundy. Page 60 "Pilgrims." Drawing from "The Life of St. Jadwiga." 19th-century lithograph. Page 62 The chateau at Azay-le-Rideau on the Indre River, France. Swans were the castle's guardian spirits. Every home, every clan had its own protector keeping watch over it. This was the origin of yet another Kipchak name - the Kuman, or "Swan People", as they were called in Europe. Monastic scribe. Miniature. 15th century. Pages 64-65 Writing angel. 1210. In Ancient Greece and Rome, poets were unacquainted with rhythm; their poems were non-rhythmic. The tradition of rhyming lines came to Europe from the Altai. From ancient times, the Turkis were masters of the word; they knew how to make lines rhyme at the beginning, the middle, or the end of a poem. Their poems were simply marvellous. A Kipchak who converted to Christianity, Ambrosius (Ambrose) Mediolanensis (d. 397), has been called Europe's first poet. He wrote hymns to order for the Church.

Iron crown of the Langobards. Monza Treasury. This Turkic crown is the oldest in Europe. It bears the cross of Tengri, and was made in the Kumaniya (The Swan Area) lands of the Don. The crown was ordered by the Roman Theodolina, the widow of Authari, King of the Langobards. In 774, it was placed on the head of Charles the Great, the founder of France; it was at this time that the word "king" (derived in many European languages from Charles, or "Karl") first appeared. (It too has Turkic roots.) In 1805, the crown was given to Napoleon as a present. It is now kept in Italy. Chess pieces. Walrus tusk. 12th century. British Museum, London. It would seem that everyone knows about chess, and that it came from India. The Indians, however, are of another opinion. It is played there only in the north, where the Turkis who came from the Altai lived. The inhabitants of medieval Medina had this to say: "Chess was invented by the barbarians", that is, the Turkis. Pages 66-67 Spears. 16th to 18th centuries. Germany. Double stairway, executed in the Gothic style. 1499. Austria. Monastic scribe. Miniature. 16th century. Pages 68-69 Feast of a count during the Carolingian Period (8th to 10th centuries). 19th-century reconstruction. Castle of the counts of Flanders in Ghent. 12th to 13th centuries. Portrait of a man. Water vessel from Hungary. Bronze. 12th century. Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Page 71 Tombstone. Cathedral in Frankfurt-am-Main. Stone. 14th century. A mixed marriage is about to take place: the groom is a Kipchak in European dress, but his beard has been divided into two, in the Eastern manner. His bride wears a brooch - an heirloom of his clan. Jewellery from the Prokhorovka necropolis. 5th century BC. Kazakhstan. Exactly the same kind of brooch, with exactly the same ornamentation, is featured above. The ornament was once the sign of a clan, its tamga. Pages 72-73 Horsemen and archers on board a ship. Fragment of embroidery from the Bayeux Tapestry. 11th century. Bayeux Cathedral. The famous Bayeux Tapestry is embroidered with many different threads. It contains 72 scenes from the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The Tapestry was ordered by Queen Matilda, the wife of William the Conqueror, to commemorate the campaign. Under Napoleon, the Tapestry was exhibited in Paris in 1803, as both a work of art and a historical document. It is now kept in Bayeux. Head of a dragon. Carved wood. 9th century. Scandinavia. Pages 74-75 Pair of lovers. From a medieval miniature. 13th century. Paris.

Hunting with a bird of prey in Europe. It is instructive that Europe learned about hunting with birds of prey from the Turkis. This was the preserve of royalty, one which the native Europeans called "a wild entertainment of the barbarians". The Russian word for falcon (sokol) in Turkic means "to point one's hand"; the Russian word for golden eagle (berkut) in Turkic means "to fetch one's prey". Even members of the Turkic clergy happily made time for this exhilarating pastime. Pages 76-77 Embarkation of troops. Fragment of embroidery from the Bayeux Tapestry. 11th century. Bayeux Cathedral. Head of a dragon. Ornament from a Viking ship. Carved oak. 800. British Museum, London. The dragon was the guardian spirit of the Norsemen, their protector. This is why their ships were often adorned with the head of a dragon. It was from this that the well-known sobriquet of the Scandinavians - the Goths - was derived: in Turkic, goty meant "dragon" or "lizard". It was the symbol of the Altai, and of all Central Asia. Pages 78-79 Snow leopard. Miniature from the "Bestiary". Parchment. 12th century. Oxford. How could the English have known about the Altai leopard? How could they have made it their guardian spirit? This is clearly one of the mysteries of History - or is it? The King attends a session of the English Parliament. Miniature from a medieval manuscript. There are two surprising details here: the bags stuffed with wool on which the parliamentarians sit, and the King's crown. The former were not just bags, but attributes of power in medieval England and the Great Steppe. The same is true of the crown. Prior to the Turkis' arrival in Europe, there were no such things. The word "crown" is of Turkic origin: it is derived from qori, the imperative of "to protect"; the object itself was one of the ancient symbols of the East - a sign blessed by God. A khan's crown would be placed on his head by a high priest, and from that moment on, he would be referred to as Czar. A different word was used in Europe - "king", derived from the Turkic name of Charles ("Karl") the Great; or, more exactly, from his household name. Coin of Henry I, King of England from 1100. As the famous Encyclopaedia Britannica says, the English monetary system began with the silver penny of Offa…. Who in the world was this Offa? A foreign ruler, one of the Anglo-Saxons - that is, a Turki. The Encyclopaedia goes on to say that Offa (757-796) ordered the same kind of money to be minted as the Arab Caliph Mansur had. This is curious indeed. It is further known that Caliph Mansur had borrowed the monetary system of the Turkis. He himself said that he couldn't come up with a better one. Such coins as were minted under Offa spread across Turkic Europe, and were called markus, as among the Arabs, or simply marks. The Burgundians, having become "Franks", later (in 1799) named their money this as well. It is from these that the Deutschmark and the franc came. Pages 80-81 Hunting with a golden eagle in Kyrgyzstan. Mythical animal. Decoration on a piece of headwear from an Issyk burial mound. Gold. 5th4th centuries BC. Kazakhstan.

Dervish serves a prince the ball for a game of polo. Ancient miniature from Arifi's manuscript "Ball and Mallet". 16th century. M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library, St. Petersburg. Polo, played with a mallet, was well-known in the Ancient Altai, and was called chavgan. As an old Turkic saying goes, "A man must know how to wield a mallet and shoot accurately with a bow and arrow." Another saying teaches: "When playing polo, don't bet your shirt you might lose it." The game was considered the ultimate sport. Pages 82-83 Lustrous tiles from Kashan. Some of these have been dated to 1267. Louvre, Paris. Order of St. George. There were such orders in the Great Steppe well before Attila. Archaeologists have found them many times in burial mounds. This was the sign of Tengri. It was from this that the word "order" was derived: in Turkic, it meant "handed down from above". A fair question to ask is: Just how nondescript could Turkic culture have been if even the Pope's highest award came from the Turkis? Woman by a tree. Glazed tile. 12th-13th centuries. Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo. Pages 84-85 Mausoleum at the Mameluk cemetery near Cairo. 15th-16th centuries. Turkic architecture acquired a new face in the East, too. There were the same domes and the same octagons, but the details were already different from those in Europe and in the Great Steppe. The symbolism was also different. Kalyan minaret in Bukhara. 1127. Page 87 Mohammed's ascension into Heaven. Miniature from Jami's manuscript Yusuf and Zulaikha. 16th century. Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences Institute of Oriental Studies, Tashkent. Shakh Mosque in Isfakhan. Interior view. 17th century. Pages 88-89 Map of the Maverannakhr ("that which lies beyond the river", that is, beyond the Amu-Darya) area. Compiled in the 10th century by the geographer Ibn Khaukal. The Turkis had begun to study geography while still in the Altai; there are rock paintings there that contain geographical information. Also well-known are the star charts of the Altai's ancient inhabitants. Unfortunately, they remain almost completely unstudied. No one so far has made the effort. Mausoleum of the Sultan Tekesh, founder of the Khorezmshakh Dynasty, in Kunya-Urench. 13th century. In a boat on the Persian Gulf. Miniature from Buzurg ibn Shakhriyar's manuscript Wonders of India. 10th century. Pages 90 and 93 Prayer hall of the Sidi-Okba Mosque in Kayruan. 9th century. Chart showing the changes in handwritten Arabic script. An inscription from 328, found near

Damascus, is thought to be the oldest known in Arabic. It resembles Arabic script, but is in fact not. It is clearly Turkic cursive. Another old inscription dates back to 512, and it too is not Arabic script. Only in the 8th century did the Arabic way of writing, now familiar to millions, take shape. It was then that people began writing in Arabic. Scribe. Detail of a miniature from the manuscript "Messages of the Brothers of Purity". 1287. Sulemanye Library, Istanbul. Pages 94-95 The Prophet kneeling. Wood. 1520. Collection of West European Sculpture, Berlin. No one now remembers that inhabitants of Spain, southern France, and parts of Italy practised Islam in the Dark and Middle Ages; they called themselves allies and co-religionists of the Catholics. This is how European Moslems saw the Prophet Mohammed - in Turkic dress. Statue of King Gagik Bagratuni from Ani. 11th century. Armenia. During the Dark and Middle Ages, Turkic clothing was fashionable not only in European countries, but in the Near East as well. Even in Armenia, kings wore the turban and the caftan in the Turkic manner. Medieval tower of Baku. Portrait of a young woman. 1420. National Gallery, Washington. Once again, the turban can be seen. Pages 96-97 Church of John the Baptist in the village of Dyakovo, near Moscow. 16th century. Once again, the octagon - a Turkic architectural tradition. No further words are needed. This is real History, without any falsification. Folding stand for holding a Koran. Carved walnut. 13th century. Museum of Islamic Nations' Art, Berlin. No words are needed here, either; they would only be superfluous. Secret writing from the Ancient Altai can be seen in the ornamentation. These designs, like the frame on a picture, are part of its national culture. Nothing here is by chance. Pages 98-99 Holiday procession. Miniature from al-Hariri's manuscript "Maqamat" (published in English as "The Assemblies of al-Hariri"). 1237. National Library, Paris. Tatar banner with cross and crescent (military trophy). 17th century. Military Museum, Stockholm. This is perhaps the rarest trophy in the world - a true relic. This is the banner under which the Great Steppe fought. It was just such a banner that Attila brought to Europe, one emblazoned with the ancient Turkic symbols. The symbols were then separated, just as the Turkic nation was itself torn into two. The Christians took one half for themselves, the Moslems the other half. The cross and the crescent became the symbols of two different religions. Pages 100-101 Frieze from the facade of Mshatta Castle. Fragment. Carved stone. 743. Museum of Islamic Nations' Art, Berlin. Court scene from the Seljuk period. Fragment. Plaster casting. 12th century. Museum of Art,

Philadelphia. The Turkis prized science, literature, and art. The khans, for example, always had coins and other items of gold ready to throw by the handful at the feet of a poet. The Sultan Melikshakh, from the Seljuk Dynasty, left other glories behind. He brought together famous astronomers (one of whom was the astronomer and poet Omar Khayyam), and on March 15, 1079, declared the beginning of a new era. He introduced a new calendar, one which corrected the mistakes in reckoning time, both in the past and in the future. It was the most accurate calendar in the world. It would be another 500 years before such a calendar would appear in Europe. The al-Malwiyah Minaret of the al-Mutawakkil Mosque in Samarra. 9th century. Samarra - is this not a familiar name? It is a city, not far from Baghdad, which was raised in the 9th century in honour of the holy mountain of Uch-Sumer in the Altai. It is a holy city. The mosque of the Caliph al-Mutawakkil has become a monument there; with it began a new style in the construction of mosques. "New", because it was a blend of Turkic and local (that is, ancient Mesopotamian) traditions. Pages 102-103 Graphic reconstruction of the temple in the village of Lekit. 5th to 6th centuries. Azerbaijan. Dome of the Rock (Qubbat as-Sakhrah) in Jerusalem. 7th century. Restored and partially rebuilt in the 12th and 17th centuries. Mosque of the Sultan Hasan in Cairo. Courtyard. 1363. Pages 104-105 Medieval tower in Baku. Drunken revel of the Sultan Mohammed. Drawing from the manuscript "Diwan", a collection of short odes by Hafiz. 16th century. Cartier Collection, Paris. Like all the world's people, the Moslems love holidays. In the Dark and Middle Ages, they celebrated practically all the Christian holidays, since they were the common holidays of those who worshipped Tengri. During the Turkic Easter holiday (Navruz-bairam), the Moslems and Christians of Baghdad walked together to the Samaluk Monastery and began celebrating. They would carry on, as a participant in the event, Shabushti, wrote, "until the walls started to dance around us." A veritable river of sharab al-kurban wine flowed during the holy communion. Pages 106-107 Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech (also spelled Marrakesh). Built in the 12th century. Sultan Mahmoud of Gazni crossing the Ganges. A detail of a drawing. 16th century. Sultan Mahmoud has been called a man with an unusually sharp mind. Thus, on the bank of the Amu-Darya, he ordered boats to be extended across the river and fastened together with chains. The result was a pontoon bridge, which the Sultan crossed with his army. Their subsequent attack was swift and unexpected; it decided the outcome of the war. "No one here had ever seen such bridges before," noted the chroniclers. Vessel of rock crystal. 10th-11th centuries. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The times have changed, but scenes from the Altai remain the same. Even after they began calling themselves a different people, the proud Turkis preserved their past and handed down memories of it in their manufactures. Their jewellery, decorations, even their buildings, were

the sighing of a dormant memory. Cooking-pot. Found in Azerbaijan. 12th-13th centuries. Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Page 109 Phases of the Moon. Drawing from al-Biruni's work on astronomy. Al-Biruni was not just a great astronomer, but an expert on different nations as well. In his tract "On the Stations of the Moon", he wrote: "The Arabs are an illiterate people; they cannot write or count. They accept only that which they see with their own eyes, since they know no other way of study." The great Turki's mathematical calculations were incomprehensible to them. This observation of his referred to the inhabitants of Arabia, who - five centuries after the adoption of Islam remained as uneducated as before. Lute player. Relief from Asia Minor. Marble. c. 1230. Museum of Islamic Nations' Art, Berlin. It is thought that Western Europe learned about the lute from the Arabs, since the name is derived from the Arabic al-ud, or "wood". This, however, is incorrect, since the lute has always been known in Eastern Europe, where it was called a kobza, and one who played it was a kobzar. It was an ancient Turkic instrument; the word meant "plays on a komuz". The so-called Arabic expression is actually Turkic: al ot - "take it and sing ('let sound come forth')". Pages 110-111 Representation of the constellation Ophiuchus, the Serpent-holder. Drawing from the star catalogue of Abdarrakhman as-Sufi. 10th century. Socrates with his pupils. Detail of a miniature from al-Mubashshir's manuscript Select Wise Sayings and Gems of Oratory. 13th century. Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul. This miniature tells a great deal. In medieval Europe, the great scholars of the Ancient World - Socrates, Aristotle, Herodotus, and others - were forbidden by the Church. Their works were completely unknown. Only the Turkis kept copies of these classics of human thought, and were able to delight in them. Miniature from Dioscorides's manuscript "Pharmacology" in Arabic. 1224. Museum of Western and Eastern Art, Kiev. Among the Turkis, the pursuit of chemistry was anything but frivolous: they were seeking the Elixir of Life, which would free them from sickness and old age. They of course found no such elixir; on the other hand, they accumulated a great deal of knowledge about the chemical elements. They called this knowledge "chemistry", from the Ancient Turkic kimja, or "elixir". Page 112 Part of a destroyed Coptic church. Egypt. Pages 114-115 Zebu-shaped water vessel, the so-called Shirvan water vessel. Bronze. 1206. Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Fragment of a mosaic from the Church of St. Michael Africisco, near Ravenna. Glass, smalt, natural pebbles. 544. Early Christian and Byzantine Collection, Berlin. Just as it should, this panorama of heavenly life crowns the vault of the church. On his throne, Almighty Tengri bestows his blessing on the Catholic priest. It is possible that this blessing contains the origin

of the Catholic idea - the idea of a union between East and West. Or, perhaps something else as well: the artist called this work Tengri or Khodai; he could scarcely have called it anything else. Was it not from this that the universally recognized Gott or God was derived? Though a bit distorted, this is how many Europeans now pronounce the name of the Almighty. It comes from Khodai. Detail from the gates of the Kunia-Ark Palace in Khiva. 17th century. Page 116 Iskandar visits a hermit. Detail of a miniature from the Nizami manuscript "Khamseh" ("The Quintuplet"). 1543. Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Oriental Studies Manuscript Collection, St. Petersburg. St. George. Detail of a mural in Kintsvisi Cathedral. 13th century. Georgia. Can no one really say exactly who is depicted here? In those times, the Turkis called him Jor, or Jargan. It is from this that the name Georgia is derived; that is, "the Land of St. George". Christians now call him St. George; the Moslems, Khyzr. The word Khyzr came from Khazar, the name of the Caspian Sea, on the shores of which (in Derbent) the hero performed his great deed and acquired immortality. Pages 118-119 The Turkic karaka-ship. An old drawing. Unloading a ship. Detail of a miniature from the manuscript "Kalila and Dimna". c. 1350. The Oguz, once they came to power in the Caliphate, did a great deal to elevate the Moslem world. They translated priceless works of Turkic science and literature into Arabic. The parable "Kalila and Dimna" was just one of many hundreds. Detail of the plate "Silen and Menada". Gilded silver. 7th century. Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Pages 120-121 Greek fire. Detail of a miniature. 14th century. Iconoclast. Fragment of a miniature from the Khludov Psalter. 9th century. Historical Museum, Moscow. Iconoclasm was a heinous crime - an act of vandalism. It was committed by the Greek Church, when it became the first such institution in the Dark Ages to begin obliterating the image of the God of Heaven. From this time on, people started to forget the name and face of Tengri; it was all purely political. Pages 122-123 Belvedere Courtyard in the Vatican. Overall view. Begun in 1505. Arnolfo di Cambio. Fragment of the Cardinal Guillaume de Braye's tomb in the Church of San Domenico at Orvieto. 1282. Pages 124-125 Members of a monastic order. Miniature from a French book. 14th century. National Library, Paris. On the chest of each monk is an order - the Turkic mark of distinction which became a part of European culture.

St. Etienne as a deacon. Silver. 12th century. Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Pages 126-127 Tomb of Archbishop Friedrich von Wettin. Magdeburg Cathedral. Bronze. 1160. Coats of Arms of Popes Pius II, Innocent III, Urban IV, Clement IV, Nicholas III, George XIII, Honorius III, Nicholas IV, John XXII, John XXI. On Pius II's coat of arms is an equilateral cross, charged with five crescents. On Nicholas IV's are three fleurs-de-lis (the Altai lotus) and two six-pointed mullets, or stars. On Gregory XIII's is the dragon, a charge which needs no explanation. Each pope had his own sign of the East. The Bogomil Sarcophagus. 10th century. Balkans. Pages 128-129 Pillaging. Miniature from "A French Chronicle". 15th century. National Library, Paris. Raphael. Mass in Bolsena. Detail from the fresco "Stanza d'Eliodoro". 1511. Vatican Palace, Rome. Pages 130-131 Middleton Cross. Stonecarving. 10th century. Yorkshire, England. Deer. Head of a staff from a burial mound in Sutton Hoo, estate near Woodbridge, Suffolk. 10th century. England. Castle of Monsegur in the Pyrenees - the last refuge of the Cathari in 1244. Viking ship. Useberg. c. 800. Pages 132-133 Scenes from the life of Sigurd. Woodcarving. 12th century. Scenes from the life of Sigurd. Runestone. 11th century. Construction site. Miniature from Barberini's Psalter. 11th century. Vatican, Rome. Pages 134-135 Baleen plate, topped with two horses' heads. Found in Norway. 9th century. British Museum, London. Caernarvon Castle. Construction begun in 1283 by Edward I, uniter of Wales and England. Page 136 Map with a route to America (Vinland) and runic inscriptions. c. 16th century. This is not the actual map, but a copy. Found by chance at the archbishop's estate in Esztergom, on the banks of the Danube, it was in the private collection of Guzsa Sepesi, the director of the city's museum. The original map vanished mysteriously in the archives of the Vatican. Horseman. Fragment of a relief in Hornhausen. Stone. c. 700. Halle Museum.

Pages 138-139 Letter "P" from a medieval manuscript. 12th century. Animals devouring one another was a favourite motif of the Altai. This has long been a point of dispute for European archaeologists. It is curious indeed that this motif is encountered only where the descendants of the Kipchaks lived. Erhart Reyvich. View of Venice. Illustration for "Breidenbach's Journey". 1486. Relief with heraldic figures from Venice. Marble. 11th-12th centuries. State Museum, Berlin. These too are symbols of the distant Altai. Page 140 Pilgrims. Detail from a portal in Autun Cathedral, Burgundy. Stone. 12th century. In the Middle Ages, pilgrims from different countries understood one another quite well: they essentially spoke one language. This was sometimes called "Barbaric" or "Vulgate"; more often, it was known as "the Divine Tongue". This was Turkic speech. It was introduced into European culture at the end of the 4th century by Hieronymus, a Kipchak - one of the first to settle in the Western Roman Empire. It was he who created the script that was to take the place of runes. Today, this script is known as the Glagolitic alphabet. Hieronymus translated the Holy Book of the Christians - the Bible - into the "national language". Grieving peasant woman. Detail from Cologne Cathedral. Stone. c. 1322. Pages 142-143 Knights board ship to embark on the Crusade. Miniature from the manuscript "Statute of the Naples Order of the Holy Ghost". 14th century. Crusader Friedrich Barbarossa. Miniature from the manuscript "A History of Jerusalem". 13th century. A legendary figure of the Middle Ages - and not, of course, because he, like Genghis Khan, was called Redbeard. This man was virtually the only one who refused to be a toady to the Pope. It is said he boldly told the Pope that "it was not you who gave me power over the nation, but Tengri". Pages 144-145 Taking of Antioch. The First Crusade. Miniature from a medieval manuscript. Homecoming of a crusader. Fragment from a tomb memorial in Nancy. This was a memorial to Count Hugo of Vaudemont, a participant in the Second Crusade. Next to him is his wife, a daughter of the Duke of Lorraine. Their faces are both expressive and recognisable: they are true Kipchaks. Apparently, not all the Kipchaks' descendants forgot the ancient law of their ancestors: "Take only one of your own for a wife." Was this not the reason for one of the women who took part in the Crusades to become the wife of a sultan and the mother of the famous Caliph Imad ad-Din Zangi (Zangi also spelled Zengi), who, in the 12th century, killed crusaders a number of times? Knight. Detail from Cologne Cathedral. Stone. c. 1322. Pages 146-147 The ceremonial of dubbing. Miniature from the Oxford Codex.

Battle between a knight and a dragon. Water vessel. Bronze. 13th century. Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Pages 148-149 Crusaders battling Moslems. Stained-glass window from the Abbey of St. Denis. 12th century. Knight. Tomb in Gloucester Cathedral. 12th century. Pages 150-151 Charles the Great. From a mozaic portait. 9th century. Portrait of a Burgundian. Steel helmet. 16th century. British Museum, London. Knights. Lithograph. 19th century. Pages 152-153 St. George and the Dragon. Detail of a fresco from a church in Staraya Ladoga. This is a very rare monument of the Middle Ages: it shows the changes to the biography of St. George. It is as though two motifs have been blended into one on the icon: the old and the new. The priest has become a warrior; he is on horseback, but, as before, he is not killing the dragon. That which is new always takes some time to crowd the old out of people's memory. Weapons of a knight. Detail of the Bayeux Tapestry. 11th century. Bayeux Cathedral. Knight. Detail of the Bayeux Tapestry. 11th century. Bayeux Cathedral. Pages 154-155 The dombra, queen of musical instruments, in a Kazakh yurt. Tournament. Miniature from "Froissart's Chronicles". 15th century. France. Pages 156-157 Knights' tournament. From Duke Wilhelm IV's "A Book of Tournaments". 16th century. State Library, Munich. Desiderio da Settignaano. Portrait of a princess from Urbino. Limestone. 15th century. Collection of West European Sculpture, Berlin. Pages 158-159 "Electing the Emperor". Drawing from the manuscript "The Codex of Baldwin of Trier". Provincial Archives, Koblenz. A coronation would seem to be a common scene in art. Before the arrival of the Turkis, however, the monarchs of Europe did not wear crowns. Diadems were worn on the heads of the Roman emperors (see the bust of Julian on p. 25); this was something altogether different. Storming the Fortress of Love. Ivory carving. 1400. State Museum, Berlin. Benedetto Antelami. Statue of a musician. From the baptistery in Parma, Lombardy. Detail. 12th century.

Page 160 Crusaders battling Egyptian forces. From a stained-glass window at the Abbey of St. Denis. 12th century. Iskodar mikhrab - the prayer niche in the wall of a mosque. Woodcarving. 10th-11th centuries. Uzbekistan. Incontrovertible evidence: the ornamentation exactly follows Altai patterns that are now common in both Europe and the East (see p. 71). Pages 162-163 Taking of Antioch by the Crusaders. Stained-glass window in the Abbey of St. Denis. 12th century. Detail of an arch. From a church in Tsunda. Stone. 12th-13th centuries. Georgia. Portrait of Queen Tamara. Detail from a cave painting at the Monastery of Vardziya. 11841186. Pages 164-165 Fortress in Khertvisi. 10th-14th centuries. Georgia. Grigory Gagarin. Bath of the 17th century in Shemakha. Drawing. Horses in armour. Detail from a piece of jewellery. Gold. 4th century, BC. S. Janshia Georgian Museum, Tbilisi. Pages 166-167 Monarch at a hunt. Detail from an engraved cup from Mosul. Bronze. c. 1300. Museum of Islamic Nations' Art, Berlin. Genghis Khan. Drawing from the Chinese manuscript "A History of the First Four Khans from the Clan of Genghis". This drawing is not even worthy of serious discussion. It is the product of a Chinese artist's imagination, and the Chinese, as is well-known, draw all people the same way - they make everyone look Chinese! They don't know how to draw differently; this is what makes their national art so charming. Without realising it, every nation depicts the world the way they see it. Pages 168-169 Travellers in the mountains. Landscape in the Li Chao-tao style. Fragment of a scroll. Paint on paper. 7th-8th centuries. At one time in the Gugong Museum Collection, Beijing. Mounted Mongol archer of the Ming Dynasty. Drawing in coloured India ink. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Page 170 Statuette of a woman. Figure from a Chinese tomb. Terracotta. 7th-10th centuries. British Museum, London. Page 173 Sample of a Uighur letter. Fragment from the manuscript "A Biography of Hsuan-tsang". 11th century. Manuscript Collection, Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Oriental Studies,

St. Petersburg. Portrait of an official. 10th-13th centuries. Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Pages 174-175 Siege of a Chinese fortress by the warriors of Genghis Khan. Detail of a miniature. The taking of Samarkand by the warriors of Genghis Khan. Miniature from a Chagatai manuscript. 16th century. Pages 176-177 Pisanello (?). "Portrait of Sigismund of Luxembourg". Parchment on wood, tempera. 1430. Art History Museum, Vienna. The art of the Middle Ages is up to this time a mystery, one that is distinguished by an expressive artistic language. Scholars do not know what kind of style this is - a style that was followed all over Europe. Where did it come from? It has been dubbed International Gothic. It is said that it had no native land, and belonged to no one in particular. Is this really true? Is it by accident that identical art, sometimes separated by great distances, has been found in Turkic lands - Flanders, Lombardy, Burgundy, Tuscany, Catalonia, England, the banks of the Rhine, and the lands of present-day Austria, Hungary, Germany, Bohemia and Moravia? This is not even a complete geographical listing. Where were the fountainheads of such especially soft and elegant painting? In the Altai, of course, among the Turkis. Funerals of Genghis Khan. Detail of a miniature from a medieval Indian manuscript. Pages 178-179 Ruins of the ancient city of Bulgar. 10th-14th centuries. Tatarstan. Pages 180-181 St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev. Detail. 11th century. The cathedral's architecture does not merely remind one of the exteriors of the temples of ancient Bulgar; it duplicates them exactly. They were obviously created by artisans from one school of building - the school of the Great Steppe. Market in Novgorod. Detail of a miniature. The Book of Laptev. Vladimir I, Grand Prince of Kiev with his army. Detail. Pages 182-183 Black Palace in the ancient city of Bulgar. 10th-14th centuries. Tatarstan. Ancient Turkic temple in Bulgar. 10th-14th centuries. Tatarstan. Pages 184-185 People of Galitsko-Volynskaya Rus fleeing to the Mongols. Miniature from a Hungarian chronicle. 1488. Two centuries after these events, a new "history" of Rus would start to be written: legends would appear about the horrors of tribute; then about the "Tatar-Mongol yoke". Batu. Drawing from the Chinese manuscript "A History of the First Four Khans from the Clan of Genghis".

The Russian Prince Fyodor Rostislavovich arrives at the Horde for his warrant to collect tribute from Rus. Detail of the hagiographical icon. 15th century. Museum Collection, Yaroslavl. Page 187 Our Lady of Vladimir. Detail of the icon . Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Pages 188-189 Fragment from the sculptured decoration of the Cathedral of St. Dmitry. Vladimir. 1194. This cathedral is one of the oldest in Russia. It is a subject of dispute among architects. In their opinion, the building duplicates the churches of Dark Ages Lombardy, which were identical to temples built by Turkic artisans in both the Transcaucasus and Europe. The resemblance is beyond question. They do not, however, recognise Turkic architecture in Russia. They continue to argue without knowing that in the 19th century, the Frenchman Viollet-le-Duc "travelled" all the way to the Altai in his research, and told the world about Turkic temple architecture. Another scholar, the Austrian Jozef Strzygowski, wrote a unique work on the history of iconography, which also, as it turns out, began in the Altai. Pages 190-191 "Massacre on the Ice in 1242." Detail of a miniature from "An Illuminated Chronicle of the Codex". 16th century. Teutonic Knights pursue the Swedes. Medieval miniature. Page 192 Gothic arch of an interior staircase for horsemen, leading into the Vladislav Hall. Detail. Sobeslav Palace, Prague. Battle between Polish and Mongolian warriors in 1241. From a Polish mural painting. 15th century. National Museum, Warsaw. Pages 194-195 Horrors of the Inquisition. Drawing from Samuel Clark's book "A Martyrology". Lange Castle. France. St. Dominic. Museum at Aveiro. Pages 196-197 Street in Vienna. Bonfire of the Inquisition. Miniature from a medieval manuscript. Pages 198-199 Burning heretics in Paris. Miniature. 13th century. Pages 200-201 University of Salamanca. Facade. 1515. Spain.

Detail of the "Christ the Pantocrator" icon. 1363. Pages 202-203 Fortress tower in Beijing. It has been rebuilt many times. 15th-17th centuries. Head of a man. Detail of a funeral vessel found near Samarkand, Uzbekistan. c. 7th century. The bones of nobles were kept in such vessels (shrines). It is possible that the remains of some of Genghis Khan's sons, and even Genghis himself, are preserved in such shrines. This is not likely; however, the possibility cannot be excluded, since no one has ever found the grave of Genghis Khan. The Turkic artisans hid their burial places very well. Pages 204-205 Hans Baldung. "Wild Horses." 1534. Page 206 Hans Baldung. "The Enchanted Groom." 1544. Page 215 Hunting with hawks. Detail of a French casket. Bone. 14th century. Metropolitan Museum, New York. Cover: Crusader in a hauberk. Miniature from a book. 13th century. British Museum, London. The Bird of the World Above - a sign of unity for the Turkis. Felt. 5th century BC. The Altai. Back fly-leaf: Mahmoud Pakhlavan's Complex in Khiva. Majolica. 14th century. Horsemen: like the designs of the Altai, they have become a symbol of medieval Europe as well.

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