Baghatur (Mongolian: ᠪᠠᠭᠠᠲᠦᠷ Baghatur/Ba'atur (Modern Mongolian: Баатар Baatar), Turkish: Batur/Bahadır, Russian: Bogatyr) is a historical Turco-Mongol honorific title, in origin a term for "hero" or "valiant warrior". The Papal envoy Plano Carpini compared the title with the equivalent of European Knighthood.
The etymology of this word is uncertain, although the first syllable is very likely the Iranian title word *bag "god, lord". The term was first used by the steppe peoples to the north and west (Mongolia) of China as early as the 7th century as evidenced in Sui dynasty records. It is attested for the Göktürk Khanate in the 8th century, and among the Bulgars of the First Bulgarian Empire in the 9th century.
The word was common among the Mongols and became especially widespread, as an honorific title, in Genghis Khan's Mongol Empire in the 13th century; the title persisted in its successor-states, and later came to be adopted also as a regnal title in the Ilkhanate, in Timurid dynasties etc.
The word was also introduced into many non-Turkic languages as a result of the Turco-Mongol conquests, and now exists in different forms such as Bulgarian: Багатур (Bagatur), Russian: Богатырь (Bogatyr), Polish Bohater (meaning "hero"), Hungarian: Bátor (meaning "brave"), Persian Bahador, Georgian Bagatur, and Hindi Bahadur.
The concept of the Baghatur has its roots in Turco-Mongolian folklore. Like the Bogatyrs of Russian myth, Baghaturs were heroes of extraordinary courage, fearlessness, and decisiveness, often portrayed as being descended from heaven and capable of performing extraordinary deeds. Baghatur was the heroic ideal Turco-Mongolian warriors strove to live up to, hence its use as a military honorific of glory.
List of individuals with this title
The term Baghatur and its variants – Bahadur, Bagatur, or Baghadur, was adopted by the following historical individuals:
- Modu, the founding chanyu of the Xiongnu empire.
- Baghatur Khagan, Khagan of the Khazars, c. 760.
- Bagatur Bagaina Sevar, 9th century commander in Bulgaria
- Yesugei, the father of Genghis Khan, is called Yesugei Baghatur
- The Mongol general Subutai is referred to in the Secret History of the Mongols as baghatur.
- Ilkhan Abu Sa'id Bahadur Khan took the title Ba'atur after his name for his victory over the rebellion of the Mongol Keraits in Iran.
- Bayan of the Merkid, the Grand councillor of the Yuan dynasty, was awarded Baghatur for his merit during the Ogedeid-Yuan conflict.
- Two Mughal emperors were named Bahadur Shah: Bahadur Shah I and Bahadur Shah Zafar II.
- Banda Singh Bahadur, great Sikh warrior and general
- Altani, heroine
- Stephen IX Báthory (1533–1586), Prince of Transylvania and King of Poland.
- Erdeni Batur, founder of the Dzungar Khanate.
- Abulghazi, ruler of the Khanate of Khiva, had the title of Bahadur Khan. He wrote the famous epic of the Mongols called the genealogical tree of the Mongols (or General history of Tatars).
- Maharajadhiraj Mirza Maharao Sri Sir Khengarji III Sawai Bahadur - the ruler of Kutch, was the first ruler of Princely State of Cutch to be given title of Sawai Bahadur.
- H.H. Maharajadhiraj Mirza Maharao Sri Vijayaraji Khengarji Sawai Bahadur - the ruler of Kutch, used Bahadur as a hereditary title.
- H.H. Maharajadhiraj Mirza Maharao Sri Madansinhji Vijayaraji Sawai Bahadur - the ruler of Kutch, used Bahadur as a hereditary title.
- Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, the second Indian soldier to be so honored, was known as "Sam Bahadur."
- Ospan Batyr
- Ed. Herbert Franke and others - The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 710-1368, p.567
- James Chambers The Devil's horsemen: the Mongol invasion of Europe, p.107
- Beckwith 2009, p. 387
- C. Fleischer, "Bahādor", in Encyclopædia Iranica
- Grousset 194.
- Ed. Herbert Franke and others - The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 710-1368, p.568
- Beckwith, Christopher I. (16 March 2009). Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691135894. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Brook, Kevin Alan. The Jews of Khazaria. 2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2006.
- Grousset, R. The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia. Rutgers Univ. Press, 1988.
- Saunders, J. The History of the Mongol Conquests. Univ. of Penn. Press, 2001.