Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas

Im Auftrag des Osteuropa-Instituts Regensburg
herausgegeben von Martin Schulze Wessel und Dietmar Neutatz

Ausgabe: 60 82012), 1, S. 117-118

Verfasst von: Janet Martin


Bulat R. Rachimzjanov: Kasimovskoe chanstvo (1445–1552 gg.). Očerki istorii. [The Khanate of Kasimov (1445–1552). Historical essays]. Kazan’: Tatarskoe knižnoe izdatel’stvo, 2009. 207 S., Abb. ISBN: 978-5-298-01721-3.

Since V. V. Vel’iaminov-Zernov published his classic study of the Kasimov khanate in 186364, few scholars have examined this Tatar enclave, which was established in the fifteenth century on the south-eastern frontier of Muscovy, beyond considerations of it within broader investigations of the Tatar khanates of the post-Golden Horde era and Muscovy’s relations with them. In this slim volume Bulat Rakhimzianov refocuses attention on the Khanate of Kasimov. His study, which considers the first century of the khanate’s existence (1445–1552), seeks to reconstruct and reinterpret its political history while also providing a view of its social and economic structure.

Like Vel’iaminov-Zernov in his Iszledovanie o Kasimovskikh tsariakh i tsarevichakh, Rakhimzianov relies heavily upon Russian chronicles as the primary sources for events in which Kasimov and its khans were engaged. But Rakhimzianov recognizes the chronicles as edited compilations reflecting the biases of their composers and supplements them with archival materials, published diplomatic, military, and economic records, and an impressive array of secondary sources, produced by Russian / Soviet as well as western scholars. His first chapter contains a review of that literature.

In his second chapter Rakhimzianov presents his innovative interpretation of the founding of the khanate. In contrast to the standard view that it was created in 1452, he argues it was established earlier, in 1446, in conjunction with the release of Vasilii II by Ulu Muhammad. The tsar, who had settled in the Kazan’ region in 1437/38 but still expected to reclaim his former position as ruler of Sarai, sent two of his sons to Moscow with Vasilii. Having secured his throne with their aid, Vasilii gave one of them, Kasim, the lands that became the Khanate of Kasimov, primarily as compensation to Ulu Muhammad for his support. This account leads to Rakhimzianov’s contentions that the foundation of the Khanate of Kasimov did not represent a shift in the balance of power in the steppe that favored Moscow; it was not the first stage in a progression toward the conquest of Kazan’; and its first khan was not a subordinate of the Muscovite grand prince.

The second part of this chapter focuses on the internal administrative and social structures of the khanate. Despite sparse source material for Kasimov, Rakhimzianov reconstructs the political and social hierarchies of its internal institutions and court from known arrangements in other khanates of the post-Golden Horde era. Very helpfully, he identifies and defines terms for dynastic, court, and ecclesiastic ranks and officials.

In his final chapter Rakhimzianov examines the khanate during the century following its establishment. Borrowing the format used by Vel’iaminov-Zernov, he examines the activities of each of Kasimov’s khans, not the function and development of the khanate itself. Rakhimzianov uses this approach to develop his themes of the subordination of Kasimov’s rulers to the Muscovite grand princes and the shift in the balance of power among the post-Golden Horde polities in favor of Moscow. He accordingly ends his narrative with Tsar Shah Ali and Muscovy’s conquest of Kazan’.

By viewing events through the narrow prism of the Kasimov khans and their roles particularly in the extension of Muscovite influence over the Khanate of Kazan’ and Muscovy’s competition with the Girei dynasty of the Crimean Khanate, Rakhimzianov presents images of an abrupt subordination of the Kasimov khans to the Muscovite grand princes and an equally abrupt transformation of Muscovy into the dominant power in the post-Golden Horde steppe. Yet the change in the status of the Kasimov khans, although linked to Ulu Muhammad’s death, is not fully explained. Nor are the dynamics of steppe politics and the participation of other steppe polities in them fully explored. The narrative in Chapter 3, failing to build upon the rich foundations laid in Chapter 2, does not provide a complete and convincing explanation of the place of Kasimov in the larger framework of steppe politics, including the khanate’s role in the intricate interplay among all the participants in the post-Golden Horde community that resulted in the growth of Muscovite power.

Janet Martin, Coral Gables, FL

Zitierweise: Janet Martin über: Bulat R. Rachimzjanov: Kasimovskoe chanstvo (1445–1552 gg.). Očerki istorii [The Khanate of Kasimov (1445–1552). Historical essays]. Kazan’: Tatarskoe knižnoe izdatel’stvo, 2009. ISBN: 978-5-298-01721-3, http://www.dokumente.ios-regensburg.de/JGO/Rez/Martin_Rachimzjanov_Kasimovskoe_chanstvo.html (Datum des Seitenbesuchs)

© 2012 by Osteuropa-Institut Regensburg and Janet Martin. All rights reserved. This work may be copied and redistributed for non-commercial educational purposes, if permission is granted by the author and usage right holders. For permission please contact redaktion@osteuropa-institut.de

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