Inal the Great of Circassia

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Inal Nekhu (Adyghe: Инал Нэф, romanized: Yinal Nəf, lit.'Inal the Blind'; Kabardian: Инал Нэху, romanized: Yinal Nəxw, lit.'Inal the Radiant'), also referred to as Inal the Great in Georgian sources, was a medieval Circassian king/prince and the first king of Circassia, who took power in the early 15th century and unified all of the Circassians, then divided into several princedoms into one state.[1][2] He is the founder of several Circassian regions, mainly Kabardia, Besleney, Temirgoy, and Hatuqwai.

Inal the Great
King of Circassia
Princeinal.jpg
Inal
The king of Circassia Circassia
Reign1427 – 1453
SuccessorVarious princes
BornTaman
Died1458
Burial
Unknown, allegedly Inal-Quba, Abkhazia or the Ispravnaya region, Karachay-Cherkessia
IssueЖанхъуэт (Janxhuət)
Минболэт (Minbolət)
Беслъэн (Besltən)
Унэрмэс (Wunərməs)
Къэрмыщэ (Qərmışə)
Names
Inal the Radiant
Inal the Great
Inal the Blind
AdygheИнал Нэф (Yinal Nəf)
KabardianИнал Нэху (Yinal Nəxw)
DynastyCherkassky (also known as Inalids)
FatherХъурыфэлӀ (Xhurıfəl')
ReligionOrthodoxy

Although the origin of Inal's nickname (Nef/Nekhu) is not known, sources claim that he had one eye blind, therefore it came from the word "Нэф" meaning "blind" in Circassian, and some claim that it came from the word "Нэху" meaning "enlightened" in Circassian.[3]

LifeEdit

Before the rise of Inal, the established lords in Circassia had separate territorial administration and an organized structure was not developed. Although the Circassians won the Timur-Circassian wars,[4] the Circassian region suffered great destruction as a result of this war.[5]

 
Inal with his lords

Inal, who owned land in the Taman peninsula,[6] established an army consisting mostly of the Khegayk clan and set out to unite the Circassians under a single state in the 1400s. Circassian lordships fell into Inal's hands one by one,[7] and although Circassian nobles and lords tried to prevent Inal's rise, in a battle near the Mzymta River, thirty Circassian lords were defeated by Inal and his supporters. Ten of them were executed, while the remaining twenty lords took an oath of allegiance and joined the forces of Inal's new state.[8] Inal, who ruled Western Circassia, organized a campaign to Eastern Circassia in 1434 and established the Kabardia province, which was named after his best general, Kabard. Inal organized a new campaign in 1438 and drove out the Crimean Tatar tribes in the Circassian lands north of the Kuban River to the Ten River.[9][10] And so he took over the entire Circassian land with effective expansions.[11][12][13] The capital of this new Circassian state became the city of Shanjir, founded in the region where Inal was born and raised. The Abkhaz clans Anchabadze and Shervashidze, who adopted Inal's policy, announced that they would stand by Inal in a possible war. Inal, who won the war, officially conquered Northern Abkhazia and after fighting against the Megrels, the Abkhaz people recognized Inal's rule and Inal finalized his rule in Abkhazia.[14][15][16][17][18] One of the stars on the flag of Abkhazia represents Inal's grave.[19]

Prince Inal conducted administrative reforms and divided his possessions into 4 counties: Kabardia, Besleney, Temirgoy, and Hatuqwai. He introduced the institution of 40 judges and by his other actions attempted to consolidate Circassian tribes, however after his death Circassia was split up again into separate feudal principalities.[20][21][22]

 
The coat of Arms of the Cherkassky dynasty, used by the successors of Inal.

The City of ShanjirEdit

Peter Simon Pallas and Julius von Klaproth were the first researchers to draw attention to the city of Shanjir in history, they both described the city of Shanjir similarly.[23] According to them, Shanjir was very cleverly designed and had the shape of a rectangle surrounded by walls and moats and had four gates, thus reminiscent of Roman strategic architecture.[24] In the north, fake hills were built to gain an advantage over the enemy.[25] Klaproth visited the ruins of the city of Shanjir, met the Circassian elders and gathered detailed information about the city.[26] According to the information he learned, Shanjir was in an area close to Anapa.[27][28]

"Between Psif and Nefil there is a quadrilateral with four exits, lined with ramparts and moats, reminiscent of a Roman camp. Remains of the walls and ditches are still visible and stretches eastward about half a German mile (3 km) in diameter. According to what I heard, this place was formerly the residence of the king and was called Shanjir. Circassians express that their ancestors lived here. "

— Julius von Klaproth

Although the exact location of the city is not known, the general opinion is that it is the Krasnaya Batareya region that fits the descriptions by Klarapoth and Pallas.[29][30][31]

Death and BurialEdit

 
Inal-Quba

Inal divided his lands between his sons and grandchildren in 1453 and died in 1458. Following this, Circassian tribal principalities were formed. According to the Abkhaz claim, Inal died in Northern Abkhazia. This place is known today as Inal-Quba and is located in the Pskhu region.[32] Although most sources used to accept this theory, recent researches and excavations in the region show that Inal's tomb is not here.[33]

According to Russian explorer and archaeologist Evgeniy Dimitrievich Felitsin, Inal's tomb is not in Abkhazia. In a map published in 1882, Felitsin attached great importance to Inal, but placed his grave in the Ispravnaya region in Karachay-Cherkessia, not in Abkhazia. He added that there are ancient sculptures, mounds, tombs, churches, castles and ramparts in this area, which would be an ideal tomb for someone like Inal.[34][35]

LegacyEdit

The Circassian princes in following centuries, especially the Kabardian princes claimed descedance from Inal and regarded him as their patriarch, or hypothetical father and their progenitor. Inal's name is also present in many geographical names in Caucasus, many places were named after him, following his death. There is mount Inal (2990 m) between Baksan River and Tyzyl valleys.[36] Inal is a common name among Circassians.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "PRENSLERİN PRENSİ İNAL NEKHU (PŞILERİN PŞISI İNAL NEKHU)". cherkessia.net (in Turkish). Retrieved 2021-03-29.
  2. ^ "Взгляд на османские и кавказские дела". Archived from the original on 7 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Prince Inal the Great (I): The Tomb of the Mighty Potentate Is Located in Circassia, Not Abkhazia". Amjad Jaimoukha. Circassian Voices. 2013. Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "PRENSLERİN PRENSİ İNAL NEKHU (PŞILERİN PŞISI İNAL NEKHU)". KAĞAZEJ Jıraslen. 2013. Archived from the original on 29 February 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "PRENSLERİN PRENSİ İNAL NEKHU (PŞILERİN PŞISI İNAL NEKHU)". KAĞAZEJ Jıraslen. 2013. Archived from the original on 29 February 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Shora Nogma has 1427 (per Richmond, Northwest Caucasus, kindle@610). In a later book (Circassian Genocide kindle @47) Richmond reports the legend that Inal reunited the princedoms after they were driven into the mountains by the Mongols. In a footnote (@2271) he says that Inal was a royal title among the Oguz Turks
  7. ^ Cole, Jeffrey E. (2011). Ethnic Groups of Europe: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO, LLC. OCLC 939825134.
  8. ^ "The Legendary Circassian Prince Inal, by Vitaliy Shtybin". Vitaliy Shtybin. Abkhaz World. 17 May 2020. Archived from the original on 24 May 2020. Retrieved 24 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "PRENSLERİN PRENSİ İNAL NEKHU (PŞILERİN PŞISI İNAL NEKHU)". KAĞAZEJ Jıraslen. 2013. Archived from the original on 29 February 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Klaproth, Julius Von, 1783—1835. (2005). Travels in the Caucasus and Georgia performed in the years 1807 and 1808 by command of the Russian government. Elibron Classics
  11. ^ "PRENSLERİN PRENSİ İNAL NEKHU (PŞILERİN PŞISI İNAL NEKHU)". KAĞAZEJ Jıraslen. 2013. Archived from the original on 29 February 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "The Legendary Circassian Prince Inal, by Vitaliy Shtybin". Vitaliy Shtybin. Abkhaz World. 17 May 2020. Archived from the original on 24 May 2020. Retrieved 24 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Natho, Kadir. Circassian History. ISBN 144152388X. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "PRENSLERİN PRENSİ İNAL NEKHU (PŞILERİN PŞISI İNAL NEKHU)". KAĞAZEJ Jıraslen. 2013. Archived from the original on 29 February 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ Papaskʻiri, Zurab, 1950- (2010). Абхазия : история без фальсификации. Izd-vo Sukhumskogo Gos. Universiteta. ISBN 9941016526. OCLC 726221839.
  16. ^ "The Legendary Circassian Prince Inal, by Vitaliy Shtybin". Vitaliy Shtybin. Abkhaz World. 17 May 2020. Archived from the original on 24 May 2020. Retrieved 24 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ Klaproth, Julius Von, 1783—1835. (2005). Travels in the Caucasus and Georgia performed in the years 1807 and 1808 by command of the Russian government. Elibron Classics
  18. ^ The 200-year Mingrelia-Abkhazian war and the defeat of the Principality of Mingrelia by the Abkhazians of XVII-XVIII cc.
  19. ^ Gamaxaria, Jemal. Beradze, T. (Tamaz) Gvancʻelaże, Tʻeimuraz, 1951- (2011). Abkhazia : from ancient times till the present days; assays [essays] from the history of Georgia. Ministry of Education and Culture of Abkhazia. ISBN 9789941039287. OCLC 1062190076.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ http://www.cherkessia.net/news_detail.php?id=5729
  21. ^ "The Legendary Circassian Prince Inal, by Vitaliy Shtybin". Vitaliy Shtybin. Abkhaz World. 17 May 2020. Archived from the original on 24 May 2020. Retrieved 24 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ Latham, Robert Gordon. Descriptive Ethnology. Londres: Voorst, 1859. Pp. 51
  23. ^ Dubois de Montpéreux, F., Voyage autour du Caucase, chez les Tcherkesses et les Abkhases, en Colchide, en Géorgie, en Arménie et en Crimée: Avec un atlas géographique, pittoresque, ... géologique, etc., Paris: Gide, 1839-43; reprinted: Adamant Media Corporation, Elibron Classics, 2002 (6 vols).
  24. ^ Voyages dans les gouvernements méridionaux de l’empire de la Russie, Paris, 1805 (3 vols).
  25. ^ Klaproth, J.-H. (von), Travels in the Caucasus and Georgia, Performed in the Years 1807 and 1808, by Command of the Russian Government', translated from the German by F. Shoberl, London: Richard and Arthur Taylor for Henry Colburn, 1814. reprinted: Adamant Media Corporation, Elibron Classics, 2002. [Klaproth (1783-1835), born in Berlin in 1783, devoted his energies to the study of Asiatic languages, and published in 1802 his Asiatisches Magazin (Weimar, 1802-1803). He was consequently called to St. Petersburg and given an appointment in the academy there. In 1805 he was a member of Count Golovkin’s embassy to China. On his return he was despatched by the academy to the Caucasus on an ethnographical and linguistic exploration (1807-1808), and was afterwards employed for several years in connection with the Academy’s Oriental publications.]
  26. ^ Броневский, Семён, Новейшие географические и исторические известия о Кавказе, Москва, 1823.
  27. ^ "Prince Inal the Great of Circassia, II: Shanjir, the Fabled Capital of Inal's Empire". 2013. Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ Kokov (K'wek'we), J. N., Iz adigskoi (cherkesskoi) onomastiki [From Circassian Onomastics], Nalchik: Elbrus Book Publishing House, 1983.
  29. ^ "Prince Inal the Great of Circassia, II: Shanjir, the Fabled Capital of Inal's Empire". 2013. Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  30. ^ Pallas, Peter Simon, Travels Through the Southern Provinces of the Russian Empire, in the Years 1793 and 1794, London: John Stockdale, Piccadilly, 1812 (2 vols). [Peter-Simon Pallas’ (1741-1811) second and most picturesque travel]
  31. ^ Абрамзон, М. Г., Фролова, Н. А., “Горлов Ю. В. Клад золотых боспорских статеров II в. н. э. с Краснобатарейного городища: [Краснодар. край]”, ВДИ, № 4, 2000, С. 60-68.
  32. ^ Asie occidentale aux XIVe-XVIe siècles, 2014.
  33. ^ "Prince Inal the Great (I): The Tomb of the Mighty Potentate Is Located in Circassia, Not Abkhazia". Amjad Jaimoukha. Circassian Voices. 2013. Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  34. ^ "Prince Inal the Great (I): The Tomb of the Mighty Potentate Is Located in Circassia, Not Abkhazia". Amjad Jaimoukha. Circassian Voices. 2013. Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  35. ^ Археологическая карта Кубанской области, Фелицын, Евгений Дмитриевич, 1882.
  36. ^ Pawel Krawczyk (2009). "Horse Farm at 2500 meters high". Kabardians.com. Retrieved 2015-01-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

SourcesEdit