Who are you, Ermak Alenin?
Ermak Timofeevich. Lithograph A.G. Venetsianov by the original unknown artist. 1818
The word "Cossack" or, as they wrote in the old days, "Kozak" is of Turkic origin. It is based on the root "Kaza", which has a double meaning:
attack, death, damage, loss, deprivation of something;
trouble, disaster, misfortune, misadventure, natural disaster.
The Cossacks among the Turkic peoples called people who lagged behind the Horde, isolated, leading their own economy separately. But gradually, so began to call and dangerous people, hunted robbery, robbed fellow tribesmen. The fact that the concept of "Cossacks" originated from the Turkic peoples can be confirmed by the sources.
In 1538, the Moscow authorities noted that "many Cossacks walk on the field: Kazan, Azov, Crimean and other Cossack bachelors, and the Ukrainian Cossacks walk with them, mixed with them." Notice, "mingled with them go." Consequently, the nationality for the Cossacks did not play a big role, the main thing is lifestyle.
Ivan the Terrible decided to draw the steppe liberty to his side. In 1571, he sent messengers to the Don atamans, invited them to military service, and recognized the Cossacks as a military and political force.
In 1579, the Polish king, Stefan Batory, led a forty-thousand-man army to Russian soil. Ivan IV hastily assembled a militia, which included Cossack units. In 1581, Batory besieged Pskov. Russian troops went to Shklov and Mogilev, preparing a counterattack. The commandant of Mogilev Stravinsky hastily informed the king about the approach to the city of the Russian regiments. He listed in detail the names of the Russian governors. At the very end of the list appear: "Vasily Yanov - the Don Cossack voivode and Yermak Timofeevich - Cossack ataman." It was June 1581 of the year.
At that time, Ataman Yermak was in the state service and was well known to the enemy.
At the same time, the heads and rulers of the Great Nogai Horde, who wandered beyond the Volga, raised their heads. Though they recognized themselves as subjects of the Moscow Tsar, they were not averse to profit and manage the Russian land, when the main military forces were concentrated on the north-western borders. A big foray was brewing ...
Ivan IV was informed in time about this. Ambassador V. Pepelitsyn went to the Nogai Horde with rich gifts to appease the ruling khans. At the same time, the king turned to the Volga Cossacks to prepare to repel the raid. Those with the Nogais had old scores. Many of the Cossacks, taken prisoner, fell into slave markets, and were simply tortured. When Pepelitzyn appeared on 1581 in August on the Samara River, returning from the Horde with the Nogai ambassador and 300 horsemen, the Cossacks rushed at them, not wanting to know why they came to the Russian land. Noghais were hacked up despite the presence of the tsar's ambassador, and only 25 people rode to Moscow and complained to Ivan Vasilyevich that the Cossacks had chopped their comrades. The names of the Volga atamans were listed: Ivan Koltso, Bogdan Barbosha, Savva Boldyr, Nikita Pan.
Not wanting to aggravate relations with the Nogai Horde, Grozny ordered the Cossacks to be seized and executed on the spot. But in reality it was just a subtle diplomatic move.
Without dwelling on the description of further events, we only indicate that the names of Ermak himself and his atamans who participated later in the Siberian campaign were fairly well known to contemporaries. In addition to those mentioned above, Matvey Meshcheryak, Cherkas Alexandrov, Bogdan Bryazga, Ivan Karchiga, and Ivan Groza are often mentioned in various Siberian annals. The rest of the companions Ermak known only names without nicknames, or, as we now say, without surnames.
Name or nickname?
Let's try to understand the origin of the nicknames of those whose names she has kept for us. история. All of them are divided according to two signs - by origin or by the most typical character traits: Meshcheryak - a person from Meshchery; Cherkas - comes from Ukraine; Pan - a native of Poland.
But how can one translate into modern language the nicknames of Cossack atamans, given to them for some habits, personality traits, and demeanor: The ring is a person who does not stay long in one place, in today's language, “tumbleweed”. Most likely, an unusually clever man, escaping retribution, elusive. Bryazga - from the thieves' term of that time - to strum, snarl. It also applies to people involved in quarrels, squabbles. Such a nickname could be given to a person, always with something dissatisfied, grouchy. Karchiga is the nickname of a man with a husky voice.
They said about this: “Karchich, like a crow on ate”. Blister - so in the old days they called people born of mixed parents. For example, in Astrakhan a child could have been a child from a Russian marriage and a Kalmyk, and in Arkhangelsk, a Russian and a Samoyed (Nenka) or Zyryanka, etc. Barbosha (from banging) - so in the Ryazan province they called fussy, fussy people; in Vologda - muttering to themselves, speaking indistinctly; in Pskov - collecting absurd rumors, etc. Most likely, this name was worn by a restless, fussy person. Thunderstorm is a stern, menacing man.
The main hitch is with Ataman Yermak himself. It can be attributed neither to the first nor to the second category of nicknames. Some researchers tried to decipher his name as a modified Ermolai, Ermila and even Hermogenes.
But, first, the Christian name has never been altered. Could use its various forms: Yermilka, Eroshka, Europe, but not Ermak. Secondly, his name is known - Vasily, and middle name - Timofeevich. Although, strictly speaking, in those days the name of the person in conjunction with the name of the father was to be pronounced as Vasily Timofeev's son. Timofeevich (with "ich") could only call a man of a princely family, a boyar.
His nickname is also known - Povolsky, that is, a man from the Volga. But moreover, his surname is also known! The Siberian Chronicle, published in St. Petersburg in 1907, gives the surname of Vasily's grandfather Alenin: his name was Athanasius Grigoriev's son.
If all this is brought together, it will turn out: Vasily Timofeev's son Alenin Yermak Povolsky. Impressive!
Let's try to look into the dictionary of Vladimir Dahl, to look for an explanation of the word "ermak" there. "Ermak" - a small millstone for hand-made peasant mills.
The word "ermak" is undoubtedly of Turkic origin. We rummage in the Tatar-Russian dictionary: Erma - a breakthrough; ermak - ditch washed away by water; ermaklau - plow; ertu - tear, tear. It seems that the millstone for a manual mill got its name from the last word.
So, at the heart of the word "ermak" lies a rather definite meaning - breakthrough, breakthrough. And this is a fairly accurate description. There is even a saying: “A prorva, not a man.” Or: "Everything is broken in him."
But why Vasily Alenin was nicknamed Yermak, and not Proroy, it is difficult to answer, most likely impossible. But, actually, who proved that Yermak Alenin was Russian by birth? Since he fought on the side of the Moscow Tsar, does it mean that the Russian immediately?
Let's take at random several princely clans from the book “The History of Clans of the Russian Nobility”: Aganins, Alachs, Barasheva, Enikeevs, Isheevs, Koshaevs, Mansurovs, Oblesimovs, Suleshevas, Cherkasskys, Yusupovs and so on - all these are “alien” surnames, people from the Golden Horde who served the Russian kings. And in Russian in the old days, and even now they also consider those who received Orthodox baptism and consider themselves to be Russian people.
Speaking the language of the investigator, the surname of our hero, Alenin, also raises great doubts. The fact that it is in no way connected with the “deer” is clear and without explanation. In Russian, there were no words that began with the letter “a”. Watermelon, arba, cherry plum, lasso are all of Turkic origin. So Alenin is a surname, obviously borrowed from all the same neighbors and most likely re-entered into Russian manners for more convenient pronunciation.
Let’s look again at the Tatar dictionary: al - scarlet, pink; ala - piebald; alakola - spotted; alama - a bad man; alapai - an untidy person; alga - go ahead. As we see, there are plenty of options. And finally, Allah or Allah is God, the Divine. The names are alike: Ali, Alei, Alim. In one of the chronicles, Yermak’s appearance is given: “face is flat” and “hair is black”, and, you see, a long face and light brown hair are characteristic of a Russian person. A strange picture is obtained - Yermak is of Turkic origin, and Alenin is from the same root process!
But what about the name Vasily? He could have received the name at baptism, and the middle name from the godfather, who was called Timothy. It was practiced in Russia very often, so why could not it happen to our hero? In the 16th century, many princes and murza passed from the Kazan, Astrakhan and Nogai khanates to the service of the Moscow tsar. Looking for friendship with him and the princes of the Khanate of Siberia. Most often, the transition facts were not recorded in any documents, and if there was such a record, it was irretrievably lost. And the “relatives” of Yermak appeared much later, attributed to the famous ataman by chroniclers who wished to clarify his ancestry.
The very name Ermak (or nickname-nickname) is often found in annals and documents. So, in the Siberian Chronicle it is written that when laying the Krasnoyarsk prison in 1628, the Atamans of Tobolsk Ivan Fedorov, the son of Astrakhanev and Ermak Ostafyev, participated. It’s possible that quite a few Cossack chieftains were called “Yermaks”, but only one of them became a national hero, praising his nickname “Taking Siberia”.
In our case, the most interesting is that the name Basil is replaced by the nickname Ermak, and the name Alenin is rarely used. And he remained in people's memory as Yermak Timofeevich - Cossack ataman. And the Russian people have always strived for brevity and expression of the essence: they will say how the press will deliver.
In the popular understanding, Yermak is a symbol of a breakthrough, a small stream, which is turned over by age-old boulders, making its way. The lurking meaning of the name turned into a nationwide symbol.
And it is very symbolic that the glorious chieftain died not from an arrow or spear (the national hero cannot fall from the hand of the enemy), but in the struggle with the elements - he drowned in a stormy Irtysh. By the way, in the name of the mighty Siberian river lies the same root as in the nickname of our hero - “Ertu”: to tear, pick, pierce. "Irtysh" is translated as "excavation", tearing the earth. No less symbolic is the fact that Yermak Timofeyevich died on the "Ermak" - on an island formed by a small streamlet, which is called by the local population "Ermak".
Why did Ermak go to Siberia?
It turns out that this simple question is not so easy to answer. Although it is more appropriate to formulate it as follows: by whose precept did Yermak set off on the Siberian campaign?
In numerous works on the legendary hero, there are three generally accepted points of view on the reasons that prompted the Cossacks to make a campaign, as a result of which huge Siberia became a province of the Russian state:
Ivan IV blessed the Cossacks without risking anything;
the Stroganovs industrialists organized a hike to protect their towns from the raids of Siberian military units;
the Cossacks, without asking either the king or their masters, went on a raid "for zipuns", that is, with the aim of robbery.
None of these reasons, considered separately, can explain the motives of the march.
The initiative of Ivan the Terrible disappears immediately: the king, having learned about the campaign, sent Stroganov a letter demanding to immediately return the Cossacks to the defense of the towns, which at that time were attacked by detachments of the Khan Kuchum, his eldest son Alei.
The version of the Stroganovs as the inspirators of the campaign was also not suitable: it was not profitable for them to release the Cossacks from themselves, both from a military point of view and from an economic point of view. It is well known that the Cossacks fairly robbed their stocks (food and rifle), grabbing everything that is bad lies. And when the owners tried to resist such arbitrariness, they were threatened with "depriving the stomach". You can’t run to Moscow to complain about the arbitrariness of the guards, and willy-nilly, the Stroganovs became accomplices in the Siberian campaign. But it seems that all the same against his will. Here, in the fortresses, the Cossacks were much more necessary for them, and the prospect of “conquering Siberia” did not even enter their heads. Where there is a handful of Cossacks with a powerful khanate! Even after the successful seizure of the Siberian capital, raids by the Votul princes on the Stroganov patrimony did not stop.
The unauthorized campaign of the Cossacks “behind the zipuns” is also doubtful. If it was a question of easy and rich booty, then the Cossacks should logically go on the old road through the Urals to Ugra, the northern lands of Ob, which had long been Moscow’s patrimonies, where Russian warriors had visited more than once.
Yermak and his squad had no need to look for a new road to Siberia and to go to certain death against the well-armed soldiers of Khan Kuchum. In the Ugra land, where there is much more furs, local rulers, who have already experienced the power of the Russian weaponswould be much more compliant. So no, the Cossacks, risking their own head, stubbornly strive for the Tour, and from there to the Tobol and the Irtysh. On the way, several towns are captured, and they should be enough for everyone, but Ermak orders to sail further, all the way to the Siberian capital. The chieftain has other goals, personal rather than state ...
But here is taken the capital of Siberia - Isker. It would be possible to go back home with honor, as it happened from time immemorial in all wars. The enemy admits he is defeated, pledges to pay tribute, not to fight the winner — and that’s the end of it. But Yermak does not even try to reconcile with Kuchum. One winter passes, another, and he calmly swims along the Siberian rivers, leading to the oath ("wool") of the local population. And, strictly speaking, who gave him this right? Maybe he has a royal charter on that? Or does he feel not just a winner, but ... the owner of this land ?!
Recall how reluctantly the Russian peasants moved to Siberia much later. Here you are not the promised land, but every single day you have to fight with hunger and cold. It is much more peaceful to live on a land that is well-equipped, where relatives are full, and food is not so difficult, and there is protection against foes. After all, the same Cossacks for the winter from the Wild Field went back to their homeland. And in the detachment of Yermak, some special people got close to it, that they don’t want to go home, and they are not afraid of death. Assumptions that the Russian peasant dreamed of becoming famous for accomplishing his feats of arms, were rooting for the state, built on sand.
And one more interesting moment: Prince Semyon Bolkhovsky, the voivod, is sent to Siberia to help the Cossacks, and together with the warriors two more commanders - Khan Kireev and Ivan Glukhov. All three are not like some kind of rootless Cossack ataman! But nowhere in the annals and there is no question about how to manage the squad was one of them. And in Russia it has long been the one above the military rank, whose origin is notable. So would Prince Bolkhovsky begin to obey Ataman Yermak ?! True, unfortunately, the prince died of starvation (or of illness) in Isker in the very first winter, but the other two remained alive and Yermak submitted.
Something is wrong here! The conclusion suggests itself: the origin of Yermak Alenin is quite high, and he could well have come from the princes of the Siberian land, who were then destroyed by the Khan Kuchum, who came from Bukhara. Then it becomes clear why Yermak on this earth behaved like a master, and not like an ordinary conqueror of that time. And he settled personal scores with Khan Kuchum, and not with someone else. Kuchum was his number one enemy. The campaign of Yermak was aimed at returning the Siberian throne to someone from the relatives of his dynasty and expelling the Bukhara conqueror from Siberia.
Only this can explain the fact that the local population has not risen to fight with the Russian troops - they were headed by one of the relatives of the Siberian princes, even if they accepted the Orthodox faith, but they are by blood. And Kuchum was a stranger to them; as already noted more than once, his name in Tatar means “alien”, “immigrant”, “steppe”.
And that Siberia after the campaign of Yermak became a Russian province, it was only the restoration of historical justice - as early as 1555, the Siberian rulers Ediger and Bek-Bulat recognized themselves as subjects of Moscow and regularly sent tribute there. Initially, Khan Kuchum recognized this dependence, and only then decided to quarrel with Ivan Vasilyevich on his own head. What came of it, every student knows.
The change of dynasties on the Siberian throne.
It is this conclusion that can be made if one carefully reads the following document from the Esipovskaya chronicle: “When he arrived at the king Kuchum and told him, many prince Sedyak Bukbulat’s son from Bukhara lands went to him with an army, and he killed his tamo, and remembered his father and a heritage of delight, and revenge the blood of his father Bekbulat hoschet. " Further, it is reported that Kuchum “was terrified by the fear of Velim” and, having learned that Karach's court vizier fled with his people, “wept into great weeping and speech” very bitter words, the meaning of which is: God doesn’t pardon anyone whom becoming enemies.
Whom God does not pardon ... Probably, people who violated his commandments, shed the blood of legitimate rulers. This is exactly what the deposed Siberian ruler confessed to. Note that in the annals never reported on the open attack of Khan Kuchum on Ermak and his warriors, located in Isker. Of course, this can be explained by fear or small military forces. But if the former Siberian Khan was afraid of the Cossacks, he would have long since left this land, and meanwhile the army of Yermak was melting literally before our eyes. No, there were other laws, and not animal fear, which is attributed to the aged Khan by many researchers. And if he, Kuchum, was afraid, then it was the fear of the legitimate ruler of the Siberian Khanate.
Nevertheless, Kuchum decided to attack Yermak during their overnight stay at the Bagai “Ermak”. But it is necessary to immediately make a reservation that Russian sources report this attack, and in the legends of the Siberian Tatars it is drawn a little differently. And is it possible to believe the testimony of people who abandoned their chieftain, and then setting forth the picture of the battle in a favorable light for themselves? Having visited the place of death of the legendary chieftain, I still could not find a place from which the attackers could sneak up unnoticed even under the cover of night. In the death of Ermak a lot of obscure, and any investigator of our day, if he instructed him to find out the circumstances of the death of the Cossack ataman, would find a lot of contradictions in the testimony of witnesses.
It seems that Kuchum chose the night attack, if you accept the Russian version of the last battle, not only for surprise (the Cossacks could slip away unnoticed by the attackers under the cover of night), but rather so that the enemy could not know who attacked them. Kuchum was afraid to meet face to face with Yermak. And so only the guilty one does!
The Cossacks, who were expecting Yermak to return to Isker, lost not just their leader, but the ruler of the conquered country and “bezhasha to Russia”, but “leaving the city of Siberia empty.” Kuchum's son Aley immediately became aware of this, and he occupied the Khan's headquarters. Again the question: why not Kuchum, but his son? Below, the chronicler explains the reason for Kuchum's reluctance to return to the deserted capital — Prince Seydak returned: “He gathered with the whole house and with military people, and came to the city of Siberia, and the city was taken, and Tsarevich Alley and other victories and from the city of exile. This motherland accepts his fatherland Bekbulat and tacos in the city. ” The result is well known: the Sheibanite dynasty was overthrown along with the ruler Kuchum and his children, and the legitimate Siberian dynasty of the Taybugins dominated.
For the second summer after the death of Yermak on the Irtysh, the governor Ivan Mansurov’s ships sailed to Isker. Having learned that the city was occupied by the legitimate ruler Sedyak, the Russian soldiers sailed further north and founded a small town at the mouth of the Irtysh at the confluence of the Ob. It seems that by that time peace reigned in Siberia. And when voivod Danila Chulkov arrived on the Irtysh shores, no one prevented him from laying the city of Tobolsk and just as calmly living quite close to the old capital of Siberia. Kuchum, who wanders somewhere close, does not attack the legitimate ruler of Siberia, and he doesn’t seem to care about the Russians. Seydyak, who continued the traditions of his father, has no complaints about Russians. World?
But this balance was decided not to upset anyone, but Russian settlers. Perhaps they believe Seydyak himself, but Kuchum Karach, the former Vizier, is right next to him. It was he who, with a cunning trick, lured the ataman Ring to his companions, and there dealt with them. He overlaid the Cossacks in Isker in winter, when many died of hunger. Such a person could not be trusted. And then a very ordinary event takes place: Prince Sedyak, Karachu and a certain prince of the Cossack horde Saltan were invited to the “city of Tobolsk”, sat at the table and offered to drink wine for the health of those present. Maybe the laws of Islam did not allow those to drink intoxicating, maybe the wine turned out to be too strong, but all three choked. This was interpreted as concealing an evil intent, and they tied off the entire trio, interrupting the guards accompanying them. True, then the eminent Siberians were sent to Moscow “to the great sovereign”, where they were received with honors and granted land with serfs.
And what about Kuchum? The Chronicles report that he did not even try to get close to Tobolsk, wandering close and ravaging the settlements of local residents. He waged war with his former subjects, but not with the Russians. They took him captive and sent him one by one to Moscow, his sons, and even he himself sent letters to him on several occasions with a proposal to transfer to the Russian service. But the aged Khan proudly replied that he was a “free man” and would die free. He did not manage to regain the Siberian throne.
The death of two opponents - Ermak and Kuchum - is covered with some mystery. Their graves are unknown, and only legends live in the Tatar people.
By the way, speaking of the grave of Yermak, it should be mentioned that, according to legend, they buried him in the Baishevsky cemetery "under curly pine" not far from the mausoleum of St. Khakim-Ata, a sheikh preacher who brought Islam to Siberian land. It is unlikely that Muslims - and Kuchum insistently introduced Islam in his khanate as the state religion - would allow the burial of a Gentile next to the glorified saint.
A lot of questions arise when you begin to re-read the Siberian chronicles from a slightly different angle than was previously accepted. The fact is that all the chronicles were written by Russian authors, who were placed on two sides by the heroes: on the one hand, the Russians, and on the opposite side, the Tatars. And that's all. As a result, Khan Kuchum turned out to be a Tatar (although he never was), and Yermak, with his Turkic, in fact, was nicknamed the epic heroes of the Russian land. The heroization of the Volga ataman gave a fairy-tale hero-hero like Ilya Muromets, but thus she crushed and erased the very essence of the Siberian campaign, leaving only the final result on the surface - the annexation of Siberia to Russia.
The people have already said their word and are not going to take it back. And is it necessary to remove paint from the canvas in order to make sure that under the bright paint layer there is a rough base - gray and nondescript?
Yermak in the national consciousness became a hero; Kuchum got the fate of the villain, although his tragic fate gives him the right to a different halo, and love of freedom and independence do the honor of his personality. But now you will not change anything ... It is unlikely that today we will be able to answer who was actually Ataman Yermak, but the fact that this was far from a cheap popular hero, whom we used to see in him, undoubtedly.