|Grand Duke of Erzä|
|House||House of Purgaz|
possibly Volga-Oka region, near Penza
Purgaz or Inäzor Purgaz (Erzya: Пургаз (Инязор Пургаз), Russian: Пургас, Purgas) was an Erzän leader in the first half of the 13th century. He was a Grand Duke (inäzor) of the Erzän Principality of Purgaz. Being an ally of Volga Bulgaria, he resisted Suzdal Russia's expansion into the region. In later times, he became a symbol of Erzän independence and a figure of legend.
Purgaz was named in the Russian chronicles several times. In January, 1229 his army repulsed a raid of the Russian princes Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, Vasily Konstantinovich and Vsevolod Konstantinovich. Then Purgaz defeated the Mokshan prince, Puresh. In April, 1229 he tried to regain Nizhny Novgorod from the Russians, which was formerly the Erzyan settlement of Obran Osh. His troops burned the settlement, but the citadel stayed safe. Several months later he was defeated by Puresh. It is known that during the rule of Purgaz Russian peasants fled to his principality.
In summer 1237 he successfully resisted the advance of the Mongols, but in autumn-winter 1238-1239 he was defeated.
Since the 13th century, Purgaz had been idolized as a mythical hero; he started to be erroneously called a King of Mordovia. In the following centuries, Purgaz continued to be seen as an Erzän hero.
|Grand Duke of Erzä
? – 1239
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