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The lands of the Duolu were in the Ili River Basin

Duolu (Wade–Giles: To-lu; c. 603-651 as a minimum) was a tribal confederation in the Western Turkic Khaganate (c. 581-659). The Turgesh Khaganate (699-766) may have been founded by Duolu remnants.

There existed several Chinese transcriptions 咄陸 (Middle Chinese *tuɑt̚-lɨuk̚ > Mandarin Duōlù), 咄六 (MC. *tuɑt̚-lɨuk̚ > Mand. Duōliù), 都陸 (MC. *tuo-lɨuk̚ > Mand. Dōulù), 都六 (MC. tuo-lɨuk̚ > Mand. Duōliù). The Old Turkic name behind those has been reconstructed, variously and with uncertainty, as *Tör-ok,[1] *Turuk,[2] *Tuğluq,[3] Tölük,[4] Türük,[5] and most recently Tuğluğ (𐱃𐰆𐰍𐰞𐰍) "have flags, have standards".[a][6]

There is confusion, or possibly connection, with the earlier Onogurs which also means 'ten tribes'. Additionally, Duolu's relation to the Dulo clan of the Bulgars is possible, but not proven.

Initially, Western Turks might have organized themselves into eight tribes, consistent with statements by Syriac and Greek authors: John of Ephesus mentioned eight rulers of the Turks besides Istämi; and Menander Protector mentioned that at Istämi's death, the Western Turkic realm was divided into eight parts. Later on, two Nushibi tribes, Axijie and Geshu, reformed themselves, each sub-divided into two sub-tribes, bringing the total number to ten. Therefore, Western Turks were also called the Onoq or 'ten arrows', that is 'ten tribes', five led the Duolu chors (chuo 啜)[b] and five by the Nushibi erkins (sijin 俟斤).[c]

They lived between Lake Balkash and the Tian Shan Mountains. Their western neighbor was the Nushibi confederation which extended west to the Syr Darya and southward. The boundary between the two was around the Ili River and the Chu River, that is, near a line running south from the southwest corner of Lake Balkash. The Nushibi had connections southwest with the literate Sogdian merchants. The Duolu were probably more pastoral. Rivers running down from the Tianshan supported agriculture and towns and thus a natural caravan route. The Duolu presumably taxed these people. The West Turkic Khagans had a sort of capital at Suyab near the Duolu-Nushibi boundary.

From at least the time of Heshana Khagan (603) new Khagans were usually supported by either the Duolu or Nushibi faction. In 638 there was a separation of the two factions along the Ili River.

Chinese sources (Old Book of Tang, Tongdian) record of Duolu tribal names & titles:

Hanzi Pinyin Reconstructed Old Turkic
處木昆 (屈)律 啜 Chùmùkūn[d] (qū)lǜ chuò *Čomuqun[e] küli[f] čor,
胡祿屋[g] 闕 啜 Húlùwū què chuò *Uluğ oq kül čor
摄舍提 暾 啜 Shèshètí tūn[h] chuò *Čapšatā[i] ton čor
突騎施 賀羅施 啜 Tūqíshī hèluóshī[j] chuò *Türügeš-Qalač čor
鼠泥施 處半 啜 Shǔníshī chùbàn chuò *Šüŋiš[k] čupan čor

See also


  1. ^ For the etymology of tuğ see Tug (banner)#Early history
  2. ^ likely of Iranian origin, from čyaura- "to go out, hunt". See Bailey, H.W. "Khotanese Texts, VII" in Golden, Peter B. (1992). "An Introduction to the History of the Turkic People." Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden.
  3. ^ "collected together in one place" from root irk- "to collect or assemble (things Acc.)"; compare Anatolian irkin ~ irkim "a hoard, a buried treasure". See Clauson, Gerard. (1972) An Etymological Dictionary of Pre-13th Century Turkish. Oxford University Press. In English. p. 221, 225
  4. ^ According to Togan (apud Babayarov 2003), this reflects Sogdian Jamuk (cf. 昭武 *t͡ɕiᴇu-mɨoX > Zhāowŭ)
  5. ^ "immersed in water", "drowned"; from čom-uq- ‘to drown’ (middle voice), < čom- "to sink in (water, etc. Loc.)" (Clauson, 1972: 422) + -(X)k- + -Xn. Zuev reconstructed *čumul qun (1962: 119), later čumuq qun (1967: 18; 1981: 66)
  6. ^ reconstructed by Kasai (2014:126); Tishin (2018:109) reconstructed külüg
  7. ^ or 胡祿居 Húlùjū (Jiutangshu)
  8. ^ possibly an allograph of tŭtún 吐屯[7]
  9. ^ from Sogdian šāw/u (š’w) “black” & xšēδ (xšyδ) ‘chief, commander’ (< Avestan *xšaēta) & plural suffix ; cf. the “king of the Turks” Šāba ﺵﺍﺏﺓ mentioned by al-Ṭabarī, or Sāwa Šāh ﺱﺍﻭﻩ ﺵﺍﻩ , mentioned by Ferdowsī. Zuev (1998: 91-92) reconstructed here *Jebšed. Zuev (2002: 143-146) links the Black Prince Shu/Shav in Sogdian-Türgesh mythology to the Black Prince Shu mentioned by 11th-century Karakhanid scholar Mahmud al-Kashgari as well as to the legendary Iranian Siyâvash mentioned in the Avesta and Shahname
  10. ^ Stark (2007 & 2016) proposed that 賀羅施 might have transcribed the tribal name Khalaj
  11. ^ Atwood (2013) also linked the personal name Shŭnĭ 鼠匿 *Šünrik, of a Türk ruler who'd conquered Ferghana, to 鼠泥施 *Šüŋiš and 蘇尼 *Süŋiš (or *Soni), all derivatives from süŋü and *süŋüš ~ süŋiš “soldier, war”, which are derived presumably with a variant šüŋi of the root.


  1. ^ Zuev (1960). p. 126.
  2. ^ Zuev (2004). p. 55-56
  3. ^ Baumer. p. 205
  4. ^ Golden (2012). p. 167
  5. ^ Klyashtorny, S. G. (1986). p. 169
  6. ^ Kenzheahmet. p. 302-304
  7. ^ Dobrovits, p. 81