Russian chronicles on the religious policy of Uzbek Khan (1313–1341) and his relations with the principalities of the North-Eastern Rus’
Hautala, Roman (2017-12-29)
Hautala R. Russian Chronicles on the Religious Policy of Uzbek Khan (1313–1341) and His Relations with the Principalities of the North-Eastern Rus’. Zolotoordynskoe obozrenie=Golden Horde Review. 2017. Vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 736–755. DOI: 10.22378/2313-6197.2017-5-4.736-755
© Hautala R., 2017. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research objectives: The author of present article examines the overall response of Russian medieval scribes to the ascension to power of Uzbek Khan — the Golden Horde’s Muslim ruler who made a major effort to spread Islam in the Jochid Empire. Analyzing Russian sources, the author tries to answer the question regarding to what extent we can trust the reliability of their information about the impact of Uzbek’s religious affiliation on the anticipated change in his relations with the Russian principalities.
Research materials: Russian sources are of paramount importance for the study of the Golden Horde’s history. On the one hand, Russian chronicles contain a wealth of relevant factual material. The abundance of this material can be explained by the fact that medievalRus’ was subordinated to the Golden Horde, although its numerous and disjointed princes enjoyed considerable autonomy within the Jochid Empire. On the other hand, the accuracy of Russian chronicles’ information should not be overestimated for several reasons. The preserved chronicle collections were often composed several centuries after the described events. Therefore, their information underwent the influence of significant ideological changes. In addition, the authors of Russian chronicles focused on the description of only those events that were directly related to the Russian principalities and their rulers.
The novelty of this study emerges from a comparison of the Russian chronicles’ content with information found in little-known written sources. In particular, Latin sources compiled within the ulus of Jochi in a relatively large amount exactly during the period under study compensate to some extent for the complete absence of Jochid written sources. In this case, the content of the Latin sources will allow us to reconsider the established opinion about the total Islamization of the ulus of Jochi during Uzbek’s reign.
Research results: The use of heterogeneous written sources underlies the significance of the present study. Comparison of the Russian chronicles’ content with information of Catholic missionaries, who preached the Gospel in the Golden Horde, allows the author to demonstrate that the Muslim ruler, Uzbek, adhered to the traditional Chinggisid principles of religious tolerance throughout his entire reign.
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