Journal of history of Iran)

Document Type : review paper


From early sixth century A.H. (12 A.D), some descendants of the Chinese Empire Liao, who had been defeated by Jorchen or Jorjet tribe, fled towards the west, and – led by someone named Yelo-Dashi – managed to establish an empire called Western Liao or Qara-khitaiin in Central Asia and Turkestan (1130 A.D). Yet, as if that was not good enough, they contined to move west, thus becoming neighbors with Muslim states including the Qara-khanid, the Seljuks, the Kharezmshahids and the Ghorids. They soon defeated the Qara-khanids, making them their tributary. They also crushed the Ghorids and the Seljuks after a series of combats. In fact, it was AtsizKharezm shah who paid tribute to them in acknowledgement of his subjugation. For more than seventy years after that, Qara-khitaiAmbassadors from Gurkhan came to the court of the Kharezmshahids to receive the promised tribute. For instance, Borough and his brother, KhemtaborTayangu, were two of such ambassadors who found their ways into the court of the Kharezmshahids, and attended there for years. Mongol invasions of Iran and the events that took place in the course of such invasions opened Borough’s way to Kerman where he founded the Qara-khitai dynasty of Kerman. The present paper, through a historical analysis, addresses the issue of the presence of Qara-khitai Ambassadors from Gurkhan in the Kharezmshahids’ court, considering the why and how of such presence on the Islamic frontiers, their relationship with the Kharazmshahids as well as Bourough and his brother’s attendence at the court of Kharezm shah. It was such feats that eventually led to Qara-khitai’s settlement and the establishment of the Qara-khitai state in Kerman.