Bilge Khagan

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This article is about the khagan of the Turkic Khaganate. For the emir of Ghazna, see Bilgetegin.
Bilge Khagan
Old Turkic letter N1.svgOld Turkic letter G1.svgOld turkic letter Q.png Old Turkic letter A.svgOld Turkic letter G2.svgOld Turkic letter L2.svgOld Turkic letter I.svgOld Turkic letter B2.svg
Khagan of the Turkic Khaganate
Reign 717–734
Predecessor Inel Khagan
Successor Yiran Khagan
Spouse Po Beg
Issue Yollıg Khagan
Tengli Khagan
House House of Ashina
Father Ilterish Khagan
Mother Ilbilge Khatun
Born 683 or 684
Died 734
Religion Tengrism

Bilge Khagan (Old Turkic: Old Turkic letter N1.svgOld Turkic letter G1.svgOld turkic letter Q.png Old Turkic letter A.svgOld Turkic letter G2.svgOld Turkic letter L2.svgOld Turkic letter I.svgOld Turkic letter B2.svg, Bilge qaγan)[1] (683 or 684 – 734) was the khagan of the Second Turkic Khaganate. His accomplishments were described in the Orkhon inscriptions.

Names[edit]

As was the custom, his personal name and the name after assuming the title Khagan were different. His personal name was : 阿史那默棘連, Ashǐnà mòjílián, a-shih-na mo-chi-lan) . His name after assuming the title was Bilge Khagan (or Bilge Qhagan). (Old Turkic: 𐰋𐰃𐰠𐰏𐰀 𐰴𐰍𐰣, Bilge qaγan,[1] , Pinyin: píjiā kěhàn, Wade–Giles: p'i-chia k'o-han, official title: 𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃𐱅𐰏 𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃𐰓𐰀 𐰉𐰆𐰞𐰢𐱁 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰜 𐰋𐰃𐰠𐰏𐰀 𐰴𐰍𐰣, Teŋіriteg Тeŋiride bolmuš Türük Bilge qaγan,[2] His wife was Po Beg, Tonyukuk's daughter. "Bilge" meaning "wise" or "one who has wisdom" in Turkic languages. Khagan (Kağan) is a title for ruler (like king, earl, etc.). "Bilge", as is the case with many pure Turkic names, is a unisex name. Even in today's Turkis, Bilge continues to be adopted both as male and female name. Kağan or Kaan, however, is used only as male name in contemporary Turkish.

As a khagan[edit]

In 716, Kapaghan Khagan the second khaghan of the khaganate was killed in his campaign against Toquz Oghuz and his severed head was sent to Chang'an.[3] Although his son Inel Qaghan succeeded him, the legal claimant of the throne was his cousin Ashǐnà mòjílián. Mojilan's brother Kul Tigin and Tonyukuk carried out a coup d'état against Inel Qaghan. They killed Inel Qaghan and made Mojilan a khagan with the name Bilge Qaghan.[3] His name literally means "wise king".

Bilge's khaganate spanned vast steppes from the Caspian Sea to Manchuria; he also invaded the western sections of the Chinese territories. After his death from poisoning, several stelae were erected in the capital area by the Orkhon River. These Orkhon inscriptions are the first known texts in the Old Turkic language. He was poisoned by Buyruk Chor[4] (梅錄啜/梅录啜, méilù chuò, mei-lu-ch'o). He didn't die immediately and he had time to punish the family of Buyruk Chor with death.[3]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

Encyclopædia Britannica, Micropaedia, Vol. II, pp16–17

Illustrations[edit]

External links[edit]

Bilge Khagan
Preceded by
Inel Khagan
Khagan of the Second Eastern Turkic Khaganate
717–734
Succeeded by
Yollıg Khagan