Home History of Kazakhstan Kazakhstan in Middle Age States of the Early and High Middle Ages (VI-XIII centuries) Kazakhstan in the Middle Ages

Kazakhstan in the Middle Ages


The work "Turk" first time appeared in the written Chinese sources.


The Turkic Khaganate was established. The first medieval nomadic empire in Eurasia in the Middle Ages was founded by Bumin Khagan, the Turkic ruler from the Ashina dynasty.

7th century (603-660/704)

On the territory of Kazakhstan and neighboring regions of Eurasia the Western Turkic Khaganate existed. In written sources, it was called “Onoq Budun” (“ten arrows”). The Khagan residence was located in Suyab in the valley of the Chu River.


Second Turkic Khaganate

692-766 (in other sources 704-756)

Turgesh Khaganate

8th century

The Arabs invaded South Kazakhstan. In 714 the Arab commander Ibn Qutayba captured Shash and marched towards Isfijab. The Turgesh Khagan was called "Abu Muzahim" for his courageous and decisive actions against the Arab invaders.


There was a battle of Talas between the Arab Abbasid commander Ziyad ibn Salih and the Chinese commander Gao Xianzhi near Atlah and Taraz. The Chinese were defeated after the Karluk mercenaries revolted and changed to the side of the Arabs.


Karluk Yabgu state

The first mention of the Karluk tribes was found in Chinese written sources, dating from the middle of the 5th century. The Karluks were also mentioned in ancient Turkic runic monuments.

9-11th centuries

Oghuz Djabgu state

The Oghuz confederation consisted of 24 tribes. Yangikent was a capital. The supreme ruler held the title of "Djabgu."

The late 9th - early 11th centuries

Kimek Khanate

The ruler of the Kimek state held the title of "Baigu" (Yabgu / Djabgu), but since the end of the 9th century he assumed the highest title of "Khagan". Nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoralism formed the basis of the Kimek economy. At the same time, urban and sedentary culture was developed on the banks of the Irtysh River.

6-8th centuries

The Sogdians shifted into Zhetysu (South-Eastern Kazakhstan) under pressure of the Arab conquests, where they were engaged in domestic and international trade and farming.


Abu Nasr al-Farabi

Abu Nasr al-Farabi was a prominent eastern thinker, born in Farab (Otrar). Among his works there were various treatises on philosophy, mathematics, logic, intellect and ethics, commentaries to the "Almagest" of Ptolemy.


Kara-Khanid Khanate

The Kara-Khanid dynasty was a confederation formed of Karluks, Chigils, Yagmas and other tribes. In 960, Islam became a state religion of the Kara-Khanids. In the 11th century the Kara-Khanid state broke up into eastern and western khanates.


Khitan invasion in Zhetisu

In 1125 part of Khitan nomads, lived in the north-western Manchuria and northern Mongolia, migrated to the west into the south-eastern Kazakhstan steppes led by Yelu Dashi, the ruler of the Khitan Empire. September 9, 1141 in Qatwan steppes to the north-east of Samarkand the Seljuk army was defeated by the Khitan troops.

Early 11th century

Eastern Kipchak state

The Kipchaks had close contacts with the state of Khwarezm in the south, Rus’ and Kama Bulgaria in the west. In the 11-13th centuries in the Eurasian steppe zone numerous Turkic-Kipchak tribes dominated. The Kipchak Khans conquered the Turkic-Oghuz tribes. The Oghuz steppe, known as "Mafazat al-Guz", now was called as the Kipchak steppe, or Dasht - i Kipchak. The Kipchak state ended its existence in the first half of the 13th century, with the Mongol invasions of Genghis Khan and his successors.

11th century

Yusuf (Zhussip) Balasaguni and Mahmud al-Kashgari

Yusuf (Zhussip) Balasaguni was Uighur poet and statesman. He was born, grew up and educated in Balasagun (Kuz Horde), one of the capitals of the Kara-Khanid Khanate. Yusuf wrote the philosophical and didactic work "Kutadgu Bilig" ("The Wisdom which brings Happiness").  

Mahmud al-Kashgari was a Muslim scientist and lexicographer of Turkic languages. He studied in Kashgar, Bukhara and Nishapur, traveled through the Turkic lands, recorded the words and their meanings of different Turkic groups, their folklore, ethnography, etc. Then he wrote the first comprehensive dictionary of Turkic languages "Diwanu I-Lugat al- Turk", which was the main work of his life.


The Great Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan establishing

Genghis Khan consolidated the Turkic and Mongol tribes of Inner Asia and proclaimed the establishment of the Great Mongolian Empire.


The Mongol conquests of the territory of Kazakhstan and Central Asia

After the Mongol ambassadors were executed in 1218 in Otrar, Genghis Khan led his army against the state of Khwarezm, conquered and destroyed many cities in southern Kazakhstan, Transoxiana, Khwarezm and Khorasan. He captured such cities as Bukhara, Samarkand, Urgench, and others. Fleeing from Mongol persecution to an island in the Caspian Sea, the last Khwarezmshah Muhammad was killed. His son Jalal ad-Din Mankburny continued resistance to the Mongols, until he was killed in a random encounter.


Siege and fall of Otrar

In February 1220, after six months of siege and struggle the Mongols captured Otrar. They executed the traitor Karadza Hajib. The governor of the city Ghaiyr Khan, who killed the Mongol ambassadors and confiscated all the goods, was also executed by Genghis Khan.


The reign of Jochi, the eldest son of Genghis Khan, in Dasht - i Kipchak

After the siege and fall of Urgench, the capital of Khwarezm, Jochi led his army to the north towards the Kipchak summer pastures, where he established his Ulus. Attempts of Genghis Khan to meet with his son did not produce results, and in 1225 Jochi died. His sons Orda and Batu inherited him.


The Chagatai state establishment

In 1269, on the banks of the Talas was called a Kurultai, where a new state under the rule of Kaidu was proclaimed. Kaidu was a descendant of Ogedei Khan, the third son of Genghis Khan. Only at the beginning of the 14th century the Chagataids came to power and established their dynastic state, which lasted less than half a century.  


There was the isolation of East Dasht-i Kipchak under the rule of Orda, the eldest Jochi’s son, and his descendants (the "princes of the left -wing") and the formation of the White Horde. Orda inherited the Ulus after his father's death in 1225 on the territory of modern eastern Kazakhstan. In the second half of the 13th century the Ulus finally separated from the Mongol Empire and the Ulus of Batu.


The reign of Urus Khan

Urus Khan was one of the most prominent rulers of the White Horde, a descendant of Orda. He implemented a policy of consolidation, tried to annex the Golden Horde cities of the Volga region, fought against Timur, the Emir of Transoxiana.



Toghlugh Timur Khan, supported by the Dughlat emirs, was proclaimed as a ruler of the Eastern Chagataids and the first Khan of Moghulistan.


The reign of Abu’l-Khayr Khan from the Shaybanid dynasty in East Dasht-i Kipchak

The first half of the 16th century

Strengthening of the Nogai Horde


Establishment of the Kazakh Khanate

The first Kazakh khans Kerey and Janibek, descendants of Urus Khan, migrated from the Syr Darya region to the West Zhetysu and founded the first Kazakh state in the valley of the Chu River.


The death of Kazakh Kasym Khan, the son of Janibek, the largest political and military leader in the Kazakh history


The reign of Khak-Nazar Khan, the son of Kasym Khan


The reign of Tauekel Khan

Late 17th century

Codification of the laws of Tauke Khan, called "Jety Jargy"


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