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Thread: Origins of the Ghurids

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    Farwest's Avatar Vexillifer
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    Default Origins of the Ghurids

    This discussion started in another thread, so I've moved it to a new to avoid off-topic posting - wudang.

    Persians were like Ottomans, which was a multi-national empire. There were lots of things in the antique Persian culture, which were embedded from ancient Turkic culture (like some inscriptions, symbols, weapon technology, horse tactics and so on).
    It can be said, that is because of Turkish horsemen's presence in the Sasanid, Parthian, Persian armies as mercenary cavalries, according to the Roman/Latin sources.

    Nevertheless, Turkish armies, especially their cavalry had been in the service of these Persian Empires, in addition, we also see them as Vardariotai and Skythikon or "some local mercenaries" in the Byzantine Empire army roster (also in the MTW). These and lots of other Turkic tribes spread throughout the Eastern Anatolia and Persia, in the period of Persian Empire. These tribes gave their protection money to the local or central rulers, and in return they could travel the whole Empire lands freely with their flock and valuables, with their gained rights by protection money or by military service.

    For Ghurids, yes, they were Turkic origined country. Apart from their leadership class (mostly Turkish), their armies usually formed with Turkish infantry and cavalry, but the army were largely supported with locals.
    Last edited by wudang_clown; April 03, 2012 at 02:49 AM.

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    Tureuki's Avatar Equites Cohortales
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    Parthians themselves were nomads, their nomadic cavalry tactics&weapon choises comes from that, I have no idea what symbols you talking about.

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    wudang_clown's Avatar Fire Is Inspirational
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farwest View Post
    For Ghurids, yes, they were Turkic origined country. Apart from their leadership class (mostly Turkish), their armies usually formed with Turkish infantry and cavalry, but the army were largely supported with locals.
    The Ghaznavids were Turkic, but there is no certainty about ethnicity of the Ghurids.

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    Ansar Warrior's Avatar Cornicularius
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    Quote Originally Posted by wudang_clown View Post
    The Ghaznavids were Turkic, but there is no certainty about ethnicity of the Ghurids.
    I've read a few different theories.

    One is that the leadership was from Tajikistan, two Persian, three Turkic and lastly Pashtun.

    Apparently most history experts believe the Ghurid's to be of Tajik origin, this would bridge all the gaps of a persian/afghan heritage as The Tajiks trace their ancestry to the Eastern Iranian-speaking Bactrians, Sogdians, and Parthians but have a big presence in Afghanistan and make up a portion of the inhabitants.

    What is clear however is that native Afghans made up a lot of this army although not sure about how elite they were within it, they probably had the same tradition as most muslim kingdoms and had Ghulams being the elite warrior class.

    This is supposed to be a quote from a Ghurid Sultan.

    When a courtier lamented that the Sultan had no male heirs, Shahabuddin Ghori retorted:

    "Other monarchs may have one son, or two sons; I have thousands of sons, my Turkish slaves who will be the heirs of my dominions, and who, after me, will take care to preserve my name in the Khuṭbah (Friday sermon) throughout these territories."

    Definitely had Ghulams then and they definitely if this is authentic were his elite troops and guards.

    So I think BC has it spot on, local warriors from Afghanistan (Pashtuns etc) and Ghulam guards and elite warriors.

    As for origin it looks as though the ruling class were Tajiks from Afghanistan or Khorasan as it was then known.
    Last edited by Ansar Warrior; March 27, 2012 at 09:36 PM.

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    Farwest's Avatar Vexillifer
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    Quote Originally Posted by wudang_clown View Post
    The Ghaznavids were Turkic, but there is no certainty about ethnicity of the Ghurids.
    "Gur" or "Ghur" is a pre-Turkic runic symbol and a suffix, which its pronunciation spelled like the word, Ghur. In some articles (which are non-English documents) of mine states that Ghurids are a Turkic tribe, and in a specific period, they united with another Turkic branch, Khalachs (or Khalaj) and they were started to known as either Khalachs or Ghurids, but it is clear that they were united.

    Lots of Ghurid people ran away to Anatolia from their homelands during the Mongol invasion. There are also lots of specific names who were risen to the upper ranks through Ottoman administration in the later periods. Today, there are lots of villages and tribes in Anatolia, who know their ancestors were Ghurid people of old. It is said, they are speaking Turkish and Kurdish with an Afgan accent (Gur-manç), but their Turkicness is especially claimed because of their Abdal/Haptal/Abdal-lan customs and their Alavid (Alevi) belief which is a pure Turkic traditional religion.
    In conclusion, they say they are descendants of Ghurids, and they are Alevi. Therefore, if they are Alevi, they can not be other than Turkic. Because, that religion is only transferred through family ties (from the father).

    But I know, this is a disputed subject which deserves more investigation about these.
    Last edited by Farwest; March 28, 2012 at 05:15 PM.

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    wudang_clown's Avatar Fire Is Inspirational
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farwest View Post
    But I know, this is a disputed subject which deserves more investigation about these.
    Precisely.

    Additionally, I don't think linguistic analysis can be decisive in such context. There's a lot of most likely coincidential similarities between distant languages. E.g. in Polish there's a noun "góry" which simply denotes mountains. Now, it's pronounced (and spelled too, because Polish "ó" is in fact "u") almost the same as Ghur, but with additional y, and Ghur is a mountainous region. One might think that Polish noun "góry" proves a link between Ghur and Polish language. It's possible, but highly unlikely.

    EDIT: How could people of Ghur be Turkic, if Ghaznavid Masud bin Mahmud had to hire local interpreters for his campaign in 1020?
    Last edited by wudang_clown; March 28, 2012 at 07:46 PM.

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    Farwest's Avatar Vexillifer
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    Quote Originally Posted by wudang_clown View Post
    Additionally, I don't think linguistic analysis can be decisive in such context. There's a lot of most likely coincidential similarities between distant languages. E.g. in Polish there's a noun "góry" which simply denotes mountains. Now, it's pronounced (and spelled too, because Polish "ó" is in fact "u") almost the same as Ghur, but with additional y, and Ghur is a mountainous region. One might think that Polish noun "góry" proves a link between Ghur and Polish language. It's possible, but highly unlikely.
    According to my investigations, I could clearly say that there isn't any coincidential similarities between some distant languages. There are particular similarities which are proving we were same from a particular tribe. With romantic thought, we could trace that to 'Adam'. But precisely, these all suddenly started from the Flood, about 10.000-12.000 years ago, not need to go Adam. There were survivors, and that survivors spreaded the world. And they took their languages with them.

    For giving an example for the similarities; the Turks are saying "Nev-Bahar" for Spring. Bahar is also meaning Spring and Nev is meaning New. Or there is a word "New-Roz", and it is meaning "New-Year." But we can not say, it is coincidential. Also this not makes English people Turkish. This makes them, they are relatives from an unknown time, unknown unification. Now, we can say, there were some Scytian people who migrated to Britain before Romans.

    There were people, who divided and went different directions on Earth. They call themselves Turks, today. Both ancient, and Hunnic Turks went to very different directions and gave their language, inscriptions, crafts, customs to their new centres.

    In Poland, there are still lots of local, un-assimilated people in villages who could speak their home-language. Tatars or Tartars also have significant communities in Poland. But we could find Tatars in Persia, Afganistan too! And Tatar language is only a dialect of Turkish (not Turkey Turkish, Turkish which covers all other Turkic people), that is all.

    I didn't research or knew before, the meaning of the word Ghur. But it worths doing a research on that. I couldn't say much about that. But only giving my interpretation.

    Quote Originally Posted by wudang_clown View Post
    EDIT: How could people of Ghur be Turkic, if Ghaznavid Masud bin Mahmud had to hire local interpreters for his campaign in 1020?
    If you go to Daghistan (East Caucasia), there are more than a thousand languages only in that region. There can be a people, who are common in an area, but lots of other local groups and tribes could be decisive to manage the whole region or to conquer that.
    And Afghanistan is a very mountainous area and still have very complicated demographic structure.

    I don't say, Ghurids and all its people are Turkic. Therefore, Ghurids and Ghaznavids largely recruited and used locals for their campaigns. But the Turkic forces in the Ghurid and Ghaznavid region were significant, and Khalachs and the exiled Qarahanids were numerous; that is why, they frequently were in the service of Ghurids. Khalachs especially were united with Ghurids, so anyone couldn't distinguish precisely some Ghurids are/were Khalachs, or not. Their leadership married with these people, rised these people to their officer ranks, recruited Khalachs to their military...
    (Khalachs or Khalaj are one of the 24 Oghuz tribes, who are one of the great Turkic branches)

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    Ansar Warrior's Avatar Cornicularius
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farwest View Post
    "Gur" or "Ghur" is a pre-Turkic runic symbol and a suffix, which its pronunciation spelled like the word, Ghur. In some articles (which are non-English documents) of mine states that Ghurids are a Turkic tribe, and in a specific period, they united with another Turkic branch, Khalachs (or Khalaj) and they were started to known as either Khalachs or Ghurids, but it is clear that they were united.

    Lots of Ghurid people ran away to Anatolia from their homelands during the Mongol invasion. There are also lots of specific names who were risen to the upper ranks through Ottoman administration in the later periods. Today, there are lots of villages and tribes in Anatolia, who know their ancestors were Ghurid people of old. It is said, they are speaking Turkish and Kurdish with an Afgan accent (Gur-manç), but their Turkicness is especially claimed because of their Abdal/Haptal/Abdal-lan customs and their Alavid (Alevi) belief which is a pure Turkic traditional religion.
    In conclusion, they say they are descendants of Ghurids, and they are Alevi. Therefore, if they are Alevi, they can not be other than Turkic. Because, that religion is only transferred through family ties (from the father).

    But I know, this is a disputed subject which deserves more investigation about these.
    Farwest you are wrong in the main but you are also right.

    I can fully believe that there are Turks who claim decendency from the Ghurids because the fact is that there were thousands of Turks within the Ghurid empire serving as Ghulams.
    Ghulams who also in the twilight years of the dynasty ruled the kingdom as the statement I showed from the last heridatary Emir stated, he had no sons and gave the kingdom to the Ghulams however this period was brief and it does not change the fact that the majority of the Ghurids time as a kingdom that it was run by the local dynasty of Tajik origin.
    The questions over the rulers names which have an Iranian heritage, the Ghurid courts which were styled in a Persian manor all fits in with them being Tajik.
    Tajiks are an Iranian peoples who are proud of there Iranian connection but have been living in Afghanistan and Tajikistan for centuries.

    I’m not surprised that the Turkic ancestors claim Ghurid heritage because as we know Ghulams are owned by there faction and would have been bound to the Ghurid flag with even more commitment than the local Afghans like the Pashtun who would have served their tribe before the Ghurid dynasty, however that does not mean the dynasty was Turkic just as it doesn’t mean the Abbasids or the Ummayad’s who had Ghulams were Turkic rather than Arabic.

    Also Ghor is not Turkic it's the name of the Ghor region in Afghanistan known as the Ghor mountains, it had this name before the Ghurids existed, they were from that region so took the name.

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    Farwest's Avatar Vexillifer
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    I hope my answers are not long for you all. I love writing, but sometimes when I finish that, I became aware of my letter have become too long.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ansar Warrior View Post
    Farwest you are wrong in the main but you are also right.

    The questions over the rulers names which have an Iranian heritage, the Ghurid courts which were styled in a Persian manor all fits in with them being Tajik.
    Tajiks are an Iranian peoples who are proud of there Iranian connection but have been living in Afghanistan and Tajikistan for centuries.
    In some of sources, it is said Ghurids were Tajik. I accept that. But I am trying to add another origin, Qarahanids, and especially Khalachs.
    Furthermore, in that period, Turks could had absorbed Tajik names. Because there are lots of other examples similar to these. I could give many additional examples like the other Arabic, Chinese, Russian names. As you can see, nearly all of the officer names of Seljuks were Arabic. Today in Turkey, lots of Turkish people had Arabic and Persian names.

    And it is a main problem for the Turks' presence in the history. Turks are also easily assimilated people, they love to give up their customs, language for the sake of their civilization direction. Todays Turkey Turks are very distant from their eastern cousins, but their way of life is very similar to Europeans, now. In China, there were lots of Turkic states in it, but their leaders accustomed to had Chinese names and their country names also mentioned today with their Chinese names. Their palace customs were taken from Chinese too.
    It repeat itself in lots of other places and times.

    So it is not surprising, they had changed into Tajik, Indian, Persian origins. It could be sound to you ridiculous, but for me and for Turks, not.

    I know you have Arabic origin as you mentioned before in the forum. In Egypt and Syria, there were lots of Turkish people in the times of Ottomans (late period). They didn't migrate to Turkey, after the First World War. Perhaps only a few. Now, they all think themselves Arabs. They all speak Arabic, have Arabic customs. That is not bad. But Turks are tended to forget their ties, heritages.

    But for Ghurids in Turkey (Perhaps they were Khalachs, or not), they have traditional Turkic religion (it is in minority, it is a kind of Islam, similar to Shia, but mixed with ancient Turkic customs) and this religion can only descend from the father. If you like this religion, you can not enter. So it is a nation-based religion.
    And I gave this religion example, for my thought about Ghurids.
    Last edited by Farwest; March 29, 2012 at 06:01 AM.

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    Ansar Warrior's Avatar Cornicularius
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    I take what you say on board but I still believe a couple of things to be true.

    One that Tajiks unlike as you mention Eastern Turks are very traditional in carrying their heritage and this is shown in the orgins of the Ghurids in championing an Iranian styled court, 2nd the names of the Ghurid rulers had origins in Persia, 3rd the Ghurids unlike the Ghaznavids were a local Ghor province uprising (Tajiks are locals like the Pashtuns) and 4th in that statement from the Sultan Shahabuddin Ghori he references the Turks as "My Turkish slaves" as in seperate from himself.

    All of this plus the opinions of the experts who have now all seemed to settle on a Tajik local origin of the Dyansty leaves me with little doubt.

    If you remove the Tajik link all of the above does not add up, Pashtuns would not favour Persian culture neither would Turks to that extent, although I'm sure they may adopt some featues like the Seljuks but they still kept their Turk identity.

    There's no doubt that the last Ghurid reign was handed over to the Ghulams and that there was a Turk elite warrior prescence throughout however I think all expert opinions and studies are to me with little doubt that the Dynasty was Tajik/Afghan.

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    Farwest's Avatar Vexillifer
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    Let me clarify my points, I don't consider for an individual's ethnic only with looking his/her name. Especially Turks are out of this order. Both in history and today, Turks are commonly naming their children with Persian, Arabic, Mongol, Greek, Russian names other than Turkic ones.
    My other point is, religion. Alevi religion is a nation-based religion and it is specific to Turks. The exiled Ghurids in Anatolia are Alevi. They could name themselves Khalaj or other, but they descend themselves by heritage as Ghurids.
    Thirdly, in Turkey, there are Gur-manç people, who are speaking with Afgan accent. Their language is different than Turkish, Arabic and Kurdish, but have lots of similar words with todays Turkish, second Arabic. In addition, I should explain that 'manç or manço' is meaning wolf, and it is a widely known Turkic symbol.
    Fourthly, Khalachs (Khalaj) and Qarahanids were unified with Ghurid dynasty, especially Khalachs. Furthermore, Khalachs also risen to nearly all of the officer ranks in the Ghurid administration. In addition, Ghurid militia largely picked from Turkic tribes, but also local tribes, which were from India, Afganistan and some other regions.

    In conclusion, I am not saying, Ghurids were all Turkic. Because of the usage of Tajik/Persian names, the researchers consider them as Tajik, or a late sequel to Persian Empire.
    But I say different than this thesis. The names are illusive for regarding an individual's origin, if there were any Turk in that community. Also in Ottomans, the palace language and writings were written in a half Persian-half Arabic language, it is known as Ottoman language; in Seljuks, the official language was Persian and the literature language was Arabic. In Hunnic Emire of East, it was Chinese. The Turks are these kind of people, unfortunately. And the European researchers usually don't know this.

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    Tureuki's Avatar Equites Cohortales
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    With the exiled Ghurids you mean Kurds ? Ghur-Manço(Kurmanji), that theory smells intelligence.

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    Farwest's Avatar Vexillifer
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    No. Ghur-manç people also don't call themselves as kurds. They have this opportunity, because they are in the vicinity of other Kurds in the area, but I have spoken personally with them that, they are not Kurds. It is only speculation. Also, the ones, who call themselves as Kurds couldn't understanding each other, because their dialects (they name, they are their dialects) are so different from each other and very distant.

    EDIT: And, whoever a person is Alevi, that person is absolutely Turk, it is purely certain.
    Last edited by Farwest; March 29, 2012 at 10:57 AM.

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    Ansar Warrior's Avatar Cornicularius
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farwest View Post
    The Turks are these kind of people, unfortunately. And the European researchers usually don't know this.

    But this information was from Islamic studies not Western European.

    Once again and my final opinion as I said the Ghurid Sultan referred to the Turks as "My slave Turks" if that quote is accurate then he is making a clear distinction between himself and Turks in general.

    If he had just said "My slaves" there may be some room for argument but he doesn't.

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    Farwest's Avatar Vexillifer
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    Thank you for understanding. Nearly all studies about Middle Eastern, Central Asian are based on European researchers' studies, unfortunately. For example, they state Turks had come to Anatolia in 1071, but now we have evidence that they came to Turkey before 0 B.C. Furthermore, we are not including the Turkic inscriptions in Cappadocia, Van-Çilgiri, Adıyaman-Malatya-Palanlı and lots of other examples and those are thousands and thousands years old. But still, lots of people believe, Turks came to Anatolia in 1071, because Europeans have said like this. And the other researchers building their new thesis on this base.
    _

    I could give you an example for "the slave Turks".

    Not need to tell events from very long, I want to show an example from Ottomans.
    Everyone knows that, Ottomans were a Turkic state. In the middle period of Ottomans, there were lots of sayings about Turks in the Ottoman Palace, which were saying about them "lower" than being slaves. I have some poems about that period, which were readed in front of Sultan. And some of these Sultans had some views about Turks that, 'Turks were bad people' and which I can not say further. Not every Sultan were like these, but there were some significant who turn his back to his nation.

    So, Turks had a nature, which tends to forget its very ties, heritage. Those Ottoman Sultans were Turk, some of them married Turkish women, some married with foreigners; but they were Turk and they were seeing Turkic subjects as "slaves". But Arabs and Persians were the most beloved people in the palace, they were treated with greatest respect. (But for the Justice, they all were equal, I am not referencing about that topic)

    Apart from all of these, the term "slave" means "my dear subjects" in the Turkic Rulership terminology (Not today of course). And additionally, Shahabuddin Ghori also should had lots of Turkic Ghulams in his company, for saying that kind of word.

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    deus_eggs's Avatar Tiro
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    Well guys i stumbled on this and thought i might add my 2 cents XD. I am a Pashtun and in our lore, all the kings of Ghor (or the overwhelming majority anyways) were Pashtun and expanded their tribe "Ghori" that still exists today. Due to the Ghorid conquests in Afghanistan and NWFP Pakistan their tribe is one of the largest. I know that my word would carry little weight since I'm using "lore" as my argument but I can tell you guys with certainty that most historians and historical sources sport heavily distorted facts because of lack of recorded history and (due to the violent nature of the land) not many historians have made the trip to find out exactly .

    Anyhow, the theories on Tajik, Turkic or Farsi-speaking rulers to me seem biased/flawed. Most historians guess that the kings were Persian speaking due to documents and inscriptions they found on architecture that had Persian lettering. The fact behind these findings is that Pashto/Pukhto did not have a written system until extremely late. Even today Pashtuns largely know how to write exclusively in other languages due to the lack of written literary infrastructure of the Pashto language. Point being, the most commonly learned language in that region was Persian/Farsi/Dari. Very similar to the effect of Greek and Latin to Europe. So in that light, just because many kings in Europe used different languages to communicate easily is a very unreliable source to judge ethnic background on.

    The very fabric of Pashtun Tribal society dictates that the Pashtuns as a whole would and still wont ever unite under a foreign ruler due to tribal law. We (Pashtuns) are certain that the lineage of the kings of Ghor were Pashtun. Recording family tree's is an immensely important part of our culture and thus they tend to be impressively accurate. Many of the descendants of Ghorid nobility are Khans (lords) today in the NWFP tribal regions and Central Afghanistan. They speak Pukhto/Pashto as their native tongue and then typically other languages depending on geography. As a final word, Ghulams (Slave soldiers) were preferred Turkic because of their excellent horsemanship. Melee infantry was preferred Pashtun because they operated much better in tight-knit tribal Lashkar's (Legions).

    Phew, thanks for hearing me out

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
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    On life they have a prior claim.

    With thoughts of these I do remain
    Unvexed with cares of loss or gain.
    -Khushal Khan Khattak Pashtun Poet, Nationalist, and Resistance Fighter

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    Ansar Warrior's Avatar Cornicularius
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    ^ Thanks Deus, interesting stuff.


    So your saying Pashtun, I'm saying probably Tajik and Farwest say's Turkic ....... we've not got any further than the historians really have we lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ansar Warrior View Post
    ^ Thanks Deus, interesting stuff.


    So your saying Pashtun, I'm saying probably Tajik and Farwest say's Turkic ....... we've not got any further than the historians really have we lol.
    does it really matter...?

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    Ichon's Avatar Centurio Primus Ordine
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    I've never understood why some scholars regard history of other regions than Europe so different than what occurred in Europe. The main issue is that most of the older written records of lands that came under Mongols were destroyed just as many Roman records were destroyed when WRE fell. ERE and then Caliphate preserved most of what we have from ancient classical world. Unfortunately when Mongols and then the various regimes following after until Ottomans and Safavids very few made any efforts to preserve records. Writings of Arab traders and then Italian traders and Ottoman historians are mostly what scholars go by. Lately there is more attention paid to oral records as such have proven quite reliable in many matters so there is some hope of getting a bit more idea of what the situation was.

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    Ansar Warrior's Avatar Cornicularius
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harith View Post
    does it really matter...?

    Well when people are discussing history then yes facts usually come in handy ........ its called learning.

    And if you are not interested in learning about history then I dont see the point of you commenting on our discussion to be fair?
    Last edited by Ansar Warrior; April 03, 2012 at 02:55 AM.

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