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Путешествие арабов на ВолгуArchaeological evidence shows that the first state on the territory of the Volga region appeared in the second half of the VII century. This process was preceded by dramatic events in the steppes of the Azov region, where the accumulated force warlike nomadic tribes United in the Khazar Khaganate. And soon under the blows of the Khazar collapsed Great Bulgaria, stretching in those times along the whole of the North Caucasus, to the coast of the Black and Azov seas.

"Avenged unreasonable Khazars"

The fate of private Bulgarian tribes later formed differently. Some of them have moved to the Balkans, where these aliens joined the Danube Bulgaria, others remained in the same place, under the power of the Khazars. And here's a third group of tribes and did not surrender to the invaders left the territory of the Middle Volga region, where they were called by the Bulgarians.

Mingling with the locals, Bulgars almost completely turned to a settled way of life. Soon between the Volga and the Kama appeared Bulgarian Principality, which, however, still experienced strong pressure on the part of the Khazar Kaganate, levied tribute to the people, which was growing from year to year.

Looking ahead, we should say that Bulgarians have been able to free themselves from the oppression of the Khazar only because of Slavic intervention. In the beginning of X century Prince Kiev Oleg managed not just "avenged unreasonable Khazars", but they were finally defeated only by the army of Prince Svyatoslav Igorevich, which in 964-965 years has undertaken a campaign against that state. Having suffered a crushing defeat by Russian arms, Khazar khanate soon broke up into a number of small tribal formations and quickly disappeared from the map of Eastern Europe.

Only after that, the Volga Bulgaria had the opportunity to develop rapidly. In his best years, it stretched to the North up to the Kama river in the South to the river Samara and the Samara bend in the West to the Suras and Oka, and in the East - to the river Belaya. The state capital, the city of Bulgar - was located on the territory of Tatarstan.

And in the beginning of X century Volga Bulgaria was still torn by internecine clashes between its separate clans. And only came to power in 921 year king Almos its main goal was the unification of separate principalities into one state.

Soon ruler understood that he is unlikely to do it without the support of the reputable religion. But since at the time the Bulgarians were still pagans, Almos sent its Ambassador to Baghdad. He asked the Caliph to assist in the introduction in Volga Bulgaria Islam, as the most widespread and influential religion among the Turkic peoples.

So, 921 year from Baghdad to the Volga went Islamic mission, to which the Caliph gave orders to include Akhmed Ibn Fadlan - Arab scholar, one of the most enlightened people of the Middle East at that time. His full name is Ahmed Ibn Fadlan Ibn al-Abbas Rashid Ibn Hammad. About it it is also known that he was a senior scribe-official in Baghdad warlord Muhammad Ibn Sulayman, which in 904-905 years by order of the Caliph conquered Egypt. On that journey we know now thanks to the notes of Ibn Fadlan, who accompanied the Arab army throughout the military campaign.

Geographical discoveries

But the most visible product of Baghdad scientist now considered his treatise entitled "Risale" (in Russian - "Notes"). This book is a detailed account of two-year journey of the Baghdad Embassy through Central Asia and the modern Kazakhstan to the capital of the Volga state - Bolgar. "Risale" now is considered one of the most important literary monuments throughout the history of medieval East, as it details the life, the life, customs and the system of internal control in the States of Central Asia, TRANS-Volga and Volga-Kama region.

As pointed Ibn Fadlan in his manuscript, the Embassy had left Baghdad on June 21 921 year. It was going first to Bukhara, and then down the Amu-Daria to the Khorezm Kingdom. Here ambassadors stayed for the winter, and further North they went in March 922. Of the same notes, it follows that from this time, Ibn Fadlan became the de facto leader of the whole mission.

About 20 March, the Embassy has arrived in the country Oghuz (or "Gustav"), which was located on the territory of Western Kazakhstan. The local tribes welcomed the proposal of Bagdadi on the adoption of Islam is very hostile, and it nearly came to an armed conflict. Fleeing the Oghuz Turks, the Arabs at the beginning of may 922, moved across the river Yaik (now Ural), and from it proceeded in the Northwest direction. Soon their caravan deepened in the endless steppe Zavolzhie.

Because during their journey of Ibn Fadlan tried not to miss anything interesting, its detailed account now help us to trace the path of the Embassy. And the text of his book shows that Ibn Fadlan was the pioneer of a whole range of geographic features of the current TRANS-Volga region.

These places Baghdad ambassadors passed during the peak of spring floods when many of steppe rivers burst their banks. Not surprisingly, in the notes of Ibn Fadlan paid attention to these water barriers. About them, he left the following record: "Then we made a stop at the river Jih, and it is the biggest river which we have seen. Then we crossed the river Jahan, then after it across the river Iris, lot through BA-CAG, then over the river Samur, then through Kinal, then across the river is Dry, then across the river Khunguly, and after that hit the country, where and sought".
Lutfulla Fattakhov. "Akhmed Ibn Fadlan with a message to the king Almusa". 1971
For notes from the X century is sufficiently precise and detailed description of geographic features. In fact, if you go in direction from South to North through the steppe Zavolzhie, then we will cross the same river - Ibn Fadlan even their names are in tune with the modern. Compare: Jyh - Yaik (Ural), Jahan - Chagan (a tributary of the Ural), Iris - Irgiz, Baca - Urine (Chapaev-ka), Samur - Samara, Kinel - Kinel, Dry - Juice, Khunguly - Kondurcha. These river still flows through the territories of the Samara and Orenburg regions, and Tatarstan.

The End Of The Volga Bulgaria

The state of Bulgaria in the book of Ibn Fadlan identified as the "land of the Slavs". King Almose traveler left us this account: "He sat on the throne, covered with Byzantine brocade. In his presence all, small and great, including his sons and brothers, were obliged to remove hats and take a respectful pose... Close to the king can stand only princes, and four of them were constantly at hand. The king gets file: each house fur of sable, compulsory offerings from each of the wedding feast, the tenth part brought to his country of goods and the same number from the extraction of each military unit, even if in his campaign and he did not accept personal participation".

As the head of the Embassy, Ibn Fadlan gave Almusa gifts from Baghdad, the most valuable of which were rich in the Eastern clothing, two green banner embroidered with gold, and purebred Arabian horse. He then read a letter from the Caliph, and after that, as stated in the text, "all the Embassy together exclaimed "Allah is Great!", and such a loud scream that it shook the earth." Bulgarian Tsar took the gifts and the letter, and informed all present that from now on Bulgaria recognizes Islam the state religion and becomes part of the Muslim world.

However, three days after this ceremony Almos summoned Ibn Fadlan and demanded from him 4000 dinars for the construction of the fortress. Such money at the head of the Embassy was not, but he gave a word to the king on his return immediately to solve this question with the Caliph. The reason for such discrepancies the end of the visit Baghdad Embassy 6 Bulgars was crumpled.

The exact time of departure of the Arabs from the Volga shores install now impossible as part of the text which tells about the end of the visit in the Bulgars, lost. Of the remaining part you can see that in the spring 923 all the Embassy returned to Baghdad. But did subsequently Almos those 4000 dinars, and remains unknown.

Further the history Volga Bulgaria we now know basically reportedly Russian chroniclers. In 1236-1237 years this state was wiped off the face of the earth came from East hordes of Mongol-Tatar invaders, led by Khan Batu. In those places, where quite recently were prosperous Bulgarian town, nomads left only the Smoking ruins and the bodies of their defense. In the Volga region in three with superfluous centuries came the power of the khans of the Golden Horde.
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