Berke Khan

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Hülegü pursues Berke. Depiction of the Battle of the River Terek in 1262 (illumination around 1410; Boucicaut master )

Berke or Bärkä Khan ( Mongolian ᠪᠡᠷᠺᠠ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ Berch Chaan , Tatar Бәркә Bärkä , * after 1205; † January 1267 in Tbilisi ) was a younger (half) brother of Batu Khan and one of the most important khans of the Golden Horde . He ruled from 1256/7 to 1267.

Berke took part as one of the eleven princes in the great campaign to Europe (1236-1241). In 1251 he represented Batu's interests in the election of the Great Khan Möngke in Karakorum and converted to Islam on his return (allegedly in Bukhara ).

Originally he owned Dagestan and the Caucasus region. Thanks to the Muslim merchants and two biological brothers, however, he expanded his influence in the horde, so that he was elevated to khan around 1257 through the murder or disempowerment of the heirs of Batus. He introduced Sunni Islam into his parts of the empire (apart from the already Muslim Volga Bulgaria ), but it was not fully established until the 14th century under Uzbek Khan .

In addition, under Berke Khan, the supremacy of the Mongols in Russia was consolidated through the establishment of tax collection and the Russian army succession. His negotiating partner here was Grand Duke Alexander Newski , who still had a certain special status, but died in 1263. A second opponent in Russia was Daniel Romanowitsch of Galicia , who was forced to surrender in 1259.

Berke condemned the execution of the Abbasid caliph Al-Mustasim by the Mongol prince Hülegü . Due to further controversial issues (e.g. the affiliation with Georgia , the death of his nephews in the service of Hülegü ) and the execution of his ambassadors, he allied himself with the Mamluks against Hülegü and thus made a decisive contribution to the break-up of the Mongol Empire (1261). However, his two wars against the Ilchane showed no particular success despite a victory on Terek 1263. Berke died while his troops were advancing in Tbilisi in January 1267.

After him, Möngke Timur , the descendants of Batu, came to power again in the Golden Horde.

Under Berke rule sign (Tamgha, Damga) disappeared the Great Khans of the coins and the house were the Tamgha Jochi entitled Sultan replaced (to 1265), bringing the Golden Horde now replaced formally by the Mongol Empire. Previously, the coins of the Horde (from Bolgar ) still carried the Tamghas Möngkes and Arigkbughas . But with the defeat of Berke's candidate for the throne Arigkbugha in 1264, contact with the home country lost its importance.


predecessor Office successor
Ulaqchi Khan Khan of the Golden Horde
Möngke Timur