Inal of Circassia
Inal Nexw (Kabardian: Инал Нэху, romanized: Yinal Nəxw, lit. 'Inal the Blind'), also known as the Inal the Great by Georgian sources, was a medieval Circassian prince, who took power in the early 15th century and had taken as his goal to unify all of the Circassians, then divided into several princedoms, into one state.
|Inal the Great|
|Prince of Kabardia|
|Reign||1427 – 1453|
Initially Inal ruled land around Taman peninsula, from where he led the Kabardians to the central Caucasus in the 1400s, and established Principality of Kabardia. According to Shora Nogmov, the Circassian nobles tried to prevent the rise of Inal, but in the decisive battle near Mzymta River, he managed to defeat thirty major feudal lords. Ten of them were ordered to be executed, the rest were forced to swear allegiance to him. Through effective expansions, Inal — the valiant and the prudent — had succeeded in uniting all of Circassia into one state, and even managed to conquer Abkhazia, with the help of his two allies, Abazin princes: Ashe (Anchabadze/Achba) and Shashe (Shervashidze/Chachba). This fact is reflected in the Circassian folklore according to which, Inal being on Bzyb River for making truce with the Abkhazians (See Abkhazians), unexpectedly, or possibly poisoned, died in 1453, as a pious man. His body is berried in the mentioned land and his grave being known till the present days has the name of Inal-Kuba.
Prince Inal conducted administrative reforms and divided his possessions into 4 counties and appointed his sons as a hereditary ruler of each area: Temirgoy was given to Temryuk, Besleney to Beslan, Hatuqwai to Hattı, Kabardia to Kabarta and Shapsugia to Zanoko. 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.
The Circassian princes in following centuries, more specifically 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 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.
- 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
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