From time to time the emperors of Trebizond paid tribute to the Seljuk sultans of Iconium, to the grand khans of the Mongols, to Timur the Tatar, to the Turkoman chieftains, and to the Ottomans; but by means of skilful negotiations they were enabled practically to secure their independence.
That of the Khitans, and of the Kin or "Golden" khans, it had been one of their royal residences.
For forty years after the death of its founder it remained united under the authority of a series of grand khans chosen from among his descendants, and then it began to fall to pieces till the various fractions of it became independent khanates.
The khanate closely connected with the history of Russia was that of Kipchak or the Golden Horde, the khans of which settled, as we have seen, on the lower Volga and built for themselves a capital called Sarai.
Their forefathers had been trained in the Tatar school of politics and administration, and in their ideas of government they had come to resemble Tatar khans much more than grand-princes of the old patriarchal type.
On the other hand, the khans of the Crimea were able, partly from their geographical position and partly from having placed themselves under the protection of the sultans of Turkey, to resist annexation for more than two centuries and to give the Muscovites a great deal of trouble, not only by frequent raids and occasional invasions, but also by allying themselves with the Western enemies of the tsars.
Ten years later the semblance of independence which was left to the khans of the Crimea was destroyed and the peninsula formally annexed to the empire.
Here are the ruins of a palace of the native khans, built in the 16th century; the mosques of the Persian shahs, built in 1078 and now converted into an arsenal; nearer the sea the "maidens' tower," transformed into a lighthouse; and not far from it remains of ancient walls projecting above the sea, and showing traces of Arabic architecture of the 9th and 10th centuries.
The whole conclave may be compared with the enclosed bazaars or khans of Oriental cities which are usually locked at night.
In the 13th century it was conquered by the Mongols, and became for a time the seat of the khans of the Golden Horde.
There are said to be about thirty khans or caravanserais in Bagdad for the reception of pilgrims and merchants and their goods, none of which is of any importance as a building, with the single exception of the khan el-Aurtmeh adjoining the Marjanieh mosque, to which it formerly belonged.
The place was modernized about a generation ago by Zia Pasha, the poet, when governor, and is now an unusually well built Turkish town with good bazaar and khans and a fine clock-tower.
Gardens extend for miles along the river, and the bazaars and khans are unusually large.
The former palace of the khans, which recalls by its architecture the mosques of Samarkand, is the best building in the town.
The delusion was dissipated slowly, and even after the great Tatar invasion and devastation of eastern Europe its effects still influenced the mind of Christendom and caused popes and kings to send missions to the Tatar hordes with a lingering feeling that their khans, if not already Christians, were at least always on the verge of conversion.
In the narrative of William Rubruquis (1253), though distinct reference is made to the conquering Gur Khan under the name of Coir Cham of Caracatay, the title of "King John" is assigned to Kushluk, king of the Naimans, who had married the daughter of the last lineal representative of the gur khans.(fn 2) And from the remarks which Rubruquis makes in connexion with this King John, on the habit of the Nestorians to spin wonderful stories out of nothing, and of the great tales that went forth about King John, it is evident that the intelligent traveller supposed this king of the Naimans to be the original of the widely spread legend.
The title khan was assumed by Jenghis when he became supreme ruler of the Mongols; his successors became known in Europe as the Great Khans (sometimes as the Chams, &c.) of Tatary or Cathay.
From the close of the 15th century down to 1783 it was the residence of the Tatar khans of the Crimea; and its streets wear a decidedly oriental look.
His invasion gave a decided check to the progress of the Mahommedan creed, but on his death, and during the rule of the Jagatai Khans, who became converts to that faith, it began to reassert its ascendancy.
The dynasty of the Jagatai Khans collapsed in 1572 by the dismemberment of the country between rival representatives; and soon after two powerful Khoja factions, the White and Black Mountaineers (Ak and Kara Taghluk), arose, whose dissensions and warfares, with the intervention of the Kalmucks of Dzungaria, fill up the history till 1759, when a Chinese army from Ili (Kulja) invaded the country, and, after perpetrating wholesale massacres, finally consolidated their authority by settling therein Chinese emigrants, together with a Manchu garrison.
It was formerly the residence of the khans of Khokand, and has beautiful gardens and a large park in the middle of the town.
Jenghiz Khan conquered Kulja in the 13th century, and the Mongol Khans resided in the valley of the Ili.
Miller's translations includes a long extract of Mani's book called Schapurakan, parts of his Evangelium, and epistles, with liturgies, hymns and prayers, for Tatar Khans who espoused the faith in Khorasan.
To Sodnam rGyamtso the Mongol khans gave the title of Vajra Dalai Lama in 1576, and this is the first use of the widely known title of Dalai Lama.
The greater part of the trade is done, however, in the bazaars or markets, which are held in large khans or storehouses, of two storeys and of considerable size.
The khans often possess fine gateways.
These are the sirdars, the khans and the mullahs.
The sirdars are hereditary nobles, the khans are representatives of the people, and the mullahs of Mahommedan religion.
In the meantime (999) the Samanids fell before the Ilek-Khans of Turkestan, to the great advantage of the Ghaznevid princes.
Morier says of Karim Khans family, it was a low branch of an obscure tribe in Kurdistan.
Aga Khans rebellion was fostered by the defection to his cause of a large portion of the force sent against him; but lie yielded at last to the local authoriUes of Kerman and fled the province and country.
Yahya Khan, Mushir-ad-daulah, the Persian minister for foreign affairs (died 1892), who was supposed to have connived at Ayub Khans escape in order to please his Russian friends, was dismissed from office.
During the reign of this prince, who has been described as a very humane and indolent man, the country was distracted by sanguinary broils; the governors of several provinces and districts withdrew their allegiance; and the dominions of the khans of Kalat gradually so diminished that they now comprehend only a small portion of the provinces formerly subject to Nasir Khan.
Under these high officials of the Tibetan hierarchy there come the Chubil Khans, who fill the post of abbot to the lesser monasteries, and are also incarnations.
The present houses have for the most part been quarried from ancient ruins; of the palace of the princes of Azerbaijan there remains a gateway with a Persian inscription, flanked by two brick towers; and at a little distance stands the so-called Tower of the Khans, a richly decorated twelve-sided structure, 102 ft.
The town is divided by a small stream into a commercial quarter on low ground, in which are the bazaars, khans and the hot sulphur springs (122° F.) which are mentioned as early as the 3rd century by Athenaeus; and a residential quarter on the higher ground.
The city of Bolgari was destroyed by the Mongols in 1238, and again by Tamerlane early in the following century, after which it served as the capital of the Khans (sovereign princes) of the Golden Horde of Mongols, and finally, in the second half of the 15th century it became a part of the principality of Kazan, and so eventually of Russia.