The Saragurs or Saraguri (Greek: Σαράγουροι, Syriac: s.r.w.r.g.wr,[1] Šarağurs) was a Eurasian Oghur (Turkic)[2] nomadic tribe mentioned in the 5th and 6th centuries. They may be the Sulujie (蘇路羯, suoluo-kjɐt) mentioned in the Chinese Book of Sui.[3] They originated from Western Siberia and the Kazakh steppes, from where they were displaced north of the Caucasus by the Sabirs.[4]

Around 463 AD, the Akatziri and other tribes that had been part of the Hunnic union were attacked by the Saragurs, one of the first Oghur tribes that entered the Pontic–Caspian steppe as the result of migrations set off in Inner Asia by the Uar attacking the Kidara (a sub-group of the Xiyon.[5] The Akatziri had lived north of the Black Sea, west of Crimea.[6] According to Priscus, in 463 Ernakh and Dengizich sent the representatives of Saragurs, Oghurs (or Urogi,[6] perhaps a Byzantine error for Uyghurs[7]) and Onogurs to the Emperor in Constantinople,[8] and explained they had been driven out of their homeland by the Sabirs, who had been attacked by the Avars in Inner Asia.[9][10] In 469, the Saragurs requested and received Roman protection.[11] In the late 500s, the Saragurs, Kutrigurs, Utigurs and Onogurs held part of the steppe north of the Black Sea.[12] In 555, Pseudo-Zacharias Rhetor mentions the Saragurs as one of thirteen nomadic tribes north of Caucasus, however, it is uncertain if the tribe still existed at this time.[13] Between 630 and 635, Khan Kubrat managed to unite the Onogur Bulgars with the tribes of the Kutrigurs and Utigurs, and probably the Saragurs, under a single rule, creating a powerful confederation which was referred to by the medieval authors in Western Europe as Old Great Bulgaria,[14] or Patria Onoguria. According to some scholars, it is more correctly called the Onogundur-Bulgar Empire.[15]

Saraγur or Šara Oγur means "yellow" or "white," and can even be translated as "western".[16]

See also


  1. ^ Gyula Moravcsik (1958). Byzantinoturcica. Akademie-Verlag. p. 268.
  2. ^ Kim 2013; Golden 1992, pp. 92–93, 103
  3. ^ Cheng, Fanyi. "The Research on the Identification between the Tiele (鐵勒) and the Oğuric tribes" in Archivum Eurasiae Medii AeviARCHIVUM EURASIAE ed. Th. T. Allsen, P. B. Golden, R. K. Kovalev, A. P. Martinez. 19 (2012). Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden. p. 106
  4. ^ Greatrex; et al. (2011). The Chronicle of Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor: Church and War in Late Antiquity. Liverpool University Press. pp. 449–. ISBN 978-1-84631-493-3.
  5. ^ Golden 1992, p. 92–93, 103.
  6. ^ a b Blockley 1992, p. 73.
  7. ^ Kim 2013, p. 175.
  8. ^ Golden 1992, p. 92–93.
  9. ^ Golden 1992, p. 92–93, 97.
  10. ^ Golden 2011, p. 70.
  11. ^ Hussey 1966, p. 469.
  12. ^ Curta 2001, p. 208.
  13. ^ Kim 2013, p. 141.
  14. ^ Patriarch Nikephoros I of Constantinople, Historia syntomos, breviarium
  15. ^ Zimonyi Istvan: "History of the Turkic speaking peoples in Europe before the Ottomans". (Uppsala University: Institute of Linguistics and Philology) (archived from the original Archived 2012-07-22 at the Wayback Machine on 2013-10-21)
  16. ^ D. Sinor, "Autour d’une Migration de Peuples au Ve siècle" in Journal Asiatique, 1946-1947, p. 5