Special Issue: Manchu in Transregional History


This article considers the role of the Mongols in the process of negotiation surrounding the Treaty of Nerchinsk concluded between the Manchu Qing Empire and Russia in 1689. In particular, it describes the fate of a certain Mongol noble family that was directly involved in the negotiations, the family of Erdeni Toyin Dayičing. As this analysis shows, during the negotiations the Qing delegates preferred to interact with the powerful mobile Mongol groups rather than rescue these imprisoned nobles. The Qing negotiators sacrificed the lives of Mongol nobles held in captivity in Nerchinsk rather than disclose the secret operations that went on during the negotiations. That sacrifice allowed them to achieve the desired peace with Russia and its neutrality in the Qing Empire’s anticipated war with the Dzungars (Western Mongols).


Tsongol B. Natsagdorj那楚克道尔吉





Tsongol B. Natsagdorj那楚克道爾吉





The conclusion of the Treaty of Nerchinsk in 1689 between the Qing Empire and the Tsardom of Russia had significant consequences for Central Eurasian powers, and in particular for Mongol groups facing encroachment from both sides. These exhausted and weakened successors of the Mongol Empire (1206–1368) subsequently had to choose between two former subject peoples, the Russians and the Manchus, who had now grown into the two main expanding powers of Eurasia.

As Peter Perdue has pointed out,

Many scholars have examined the diplomatic negotiations that led to these treaties, but most of them concentrate on the bilateral Russo-Chinese relationship. The success of these frontier negotiations, however, depended on the relationships among four parties—Russians, Mongols, Manchus, and Jesuits—each of whom had separate interests.[1]

Perdue argues that the Mongols played crucial roles, both covert and overt, in the conclusion of the treaty. In this article, I analyze these roles through the secret memorial that Songgotu (1636–1703), head of the Qing delegation, presented to the Kangxi emperor (r. 1661–1722) before the start of the negotiations, as well as archival material in Manchu and Russian from the First Historical Archive of China in Beijing and the Russian State Archive of Ancient Documents in Moscow. In particular, I have ascertained the identities of the so-called “traitors” to the Russian side, the Onggut and Buryat Mongols who played a crucial role in the decision of Count Feodor Alekseyevich Golovin (1650–1706), the Russian chief negotiator, to accept the Qing demands.[2] I examine the destiny of a certain Mongol noble family whose members were held in captivity in Nerchinsk during the treaty negotiations, in order to show the uncertain status of the Qalqa Mongol nobles and their unfortunate condition after 1688.

The paper consists of four parts. First, I briefly highlight the development of the Qalqa Mongols and their relationship with the Muscovites before the Nerchinsk treaty in order to clarify the background of the negotiations. I then introduce the secret correspondence of Songgotu, the head of the Qing mission. The last two sections are dedicated to a detailed analysis of that correspondence. One section analyzes the fortunes of the Mongol nobleman Erdeni Toyin Dayičing and his family with regard to the treaty negotiations in Nerchinsk, while the last section deals with the Barγu and Buryat Mongols, whose roles were crucial in the behind-the-scenes struggle surrounding the treaty.

Qalqa Mongol Polities and Their Relationships with the Muscovites Before 1689

Qalqa, one of the six myriarchies ruled by of Batumöngke Dayan Qaγan (r. 1479–1517), was divided between his two sons. His youngest son, Geresenje Jalayir (1513–1548), who inherited the larger half of the Qalqa myriarchy, managed to expand his pastures far westward into the Khangai Mountains following the suppression of the Uriyangqan revolt in the 1530s–40s.[3] After the death of Geresenje in 1548, the appanages (otoγ) of the Northern Qalqa were divided in turn among his seven sons. According to Mongolian tradition, Asiqai, being the eldest son, became the leader of right wing and inherited his father’s title Qungtayiji (crown prince), while his brother Noγonoqu, the leader of left wing, received the lesser title of Üyijeng Noyan. This title Üyijeng comes from Chinese 衛長 weizhang “commandant of a border post.” Thus the right wing was formally ruled by a “crown prince,” and the left wing by a mere “commandant.”

In the second half of the 16th century, however, the power of the left wing increased greatly when Noγonoqu’s eldest son Abatai (1554–88) came to prominence as a military leader in the war against the Oyirads and was consequently entitled Tüsiyetü Qaγan. Abatai converted to Buddhism in 1581, and subsequently met with the Third Dalai Lama (1543–88) in 1587 in Hohhot, where he received from him the prestigious title Wačirai Qaγan (Vajra king). Abatai’s swift rise and honors solidified his position and made him a leader not just of the left wing, but of all Qalqa Mongols.[4]

Meanwhile, in the right wang, Asiqai’s eldest grandson Laiqur had been enthroned as Jasaγtu Qaγan, but he was soon killed in a battle with the Oyirads.[5] After Abatai’s death in 1588, there was no qaγan of the Qalqa until 1596, when all Qalqa noblemen and their close relatives from the Abaγa-Ongniγud’s Borjigid line elected Subandai (r. 1596–1650), the great-grandson of Asiqai, former leader of the right wing, as Boγda Jasaγtu Qaγan.[6]

Meanwhile the Qalqa attacks on the Oyirads continued, and Qalqa troops were now led by Šoloi Ubasi Qungtayiji (1567–1623). Like Laiqur, Šoloi was also a grandson of Asiqai. After the successful subjugation of the Oyirads and their Turkic allies, he was titled Altan Qaγan.[7] Among the left wing Qalqa, Abatai’s successor Eriyekei Mergen Qaγan died young and was succeeded by his son Gombodorji sometime in the 1610s. Due to the policy of reunification pursued by Ligden Qutuγtu Qaγan (r. 1604–34) of the Čaqar Mongols, many noblemen from south of the Gobi Desert fled northward to the left wing Qalqa. In 1630, they enthroned Šoloi Dalai Jinong of the left wing as Sečen Qaγan.[8] Therefore, from this time on, there were four qaγans among the Qalqa: the Sečen Qaγan, Tüsiyetü Qaγan, Jasaγtu Qaγan, and Altan Qaγan.

After the fall of the Čaqar Mongols’ Ligden Qaγan in 1634, in 1636, southern Mongolian noblemen declared the Manchu ruler Hong Taiji (r. 1626–43) qaγan of Mongolia. Consequently, these four Qalqa polities faced a real danger of Manchu aggression. Therefore, while the Qalqa qaγans and the Oyirad noblemen had been enemies, in 1640 they met to adopt the Great Code (Yeke Čaγaja). According to Mongolian scholar L. Munkh-Erdene, “[the] assembly, instead of enthroning the Zasagtu Khan as the Great Khan, enforced and legalized the existing fragmentation and the Great Code resulted in something akin to the Treaty of Westphalia.[9] The confrontation between the Qalqa Mongols and the Qing Empire did not last long. In 1655, the Qalqa left wing, and in 1657 the right wing, joined a peace agreement (törü) with the Manchu state. From then on, the Manchus recognized eight Qalqa noblemen, four per wing, as jasaγs. A jasaγ, which term indicates one who is responsible for bilateral relations and regulations, was obliged to pay symbolic annual tribute in the form of the so-called “nine whites.”[10] In return, the Qing was obliged to refuse the submission of Qalqa fugitives and to let Qalqa merchants enter Chinese markets.[11]

Thus, when the Muscovites appeared in the region at the beginning of the seventeenth century, they did not face a centralized and united Mongol state, but decentralized, albeit powerful, polities that were not strongly dependent on each other. At the time, as they were attempting to conquer the Yenisei Kirgiz people, they faced the Kirgiz’ powerful Mongol suzerains – the Altan Qaγans, who as it turned out benefitted from a good relationship with the Ming (1368–1644). Therefore, the Muscovites’ first attempt to “open China” by using the Altan Qaγan failed due to their own lack of diplomatic skills in non-Muslim Inner Asia.

The second round of the relationship began on the initiative of the second Altan Qaγan Ombo Erdeni Qungtayiji (r. 1623–57), who tried to conclude a treaty of alliance with the Muscovites. However, these negotiations also failed due to misunderstandings. Further relations centered around the issue of the right wing’s attempts to collect tribute from the people of the Yenisei River Basin and the Sayan Mountains. Later, the third Altan Qaγan Erinčin Lubsang Qungtayiji (r. 1657–67) tried to gain Russian support, even offering allegiance to the Tsar. However, after his polity was conquered by a joint Qalqa-Oyirad force in 1667, the Dzungar Oyirads began to contest with the Muscovites over the right to collect tribute from those people.

When the Muscovites appeared around Lake Baikal in the mid-seventeenth century and started to oblige local people to pay tribute (yasak) to the Tsar, the same problem of the tributary peoples troubled their relationship with the polities of the Tüsiyetü Qaγan and Sečen Qaγan of the Qalqa left wing. The economic interests of the Qalqa nobility were severely violated. Ultimately, these Qalqa nobles, following extended resistance to the Russians on the part of their Buryat subjects, realized that the Russians were not going to retreat. Therefore, they organized a massive resettlement of the Buryats from the Cis-Baikal region in 1658/59.[12]

Those Buryats who were not resettled to Qalqa territory had to pay double tribute, both to the Russian Tsar and to Qalqa nobles. The situation is vividly illustrated in a report from the Yeniseisk fortress commandant to the Tsar in 1673:

Every year, Mongol men sent by the Mongol taišas [barons] from the Mongol steppe come to the Buryat lands and collect yasak for their taišas by force. They heavily insult our yasak-tributaries and take them, with their wives and children, to Mongolia. Due to their violent actions, the collection of Your Majesty’s yasak is lacking, and disturbances prevail among the yasak-tributaries. There is nobody to protect those yasak-tributaries against the Mongols. Those Mongol parties who come to the Buryat lands amount in total to 200 or 300 men. And there are very few servicemen of yours in the fortresses. In the Lower Bratsk fortress are just 16 soldiers and twelve Cossacks, and in the Balagansk fortress we have 30 men, in Irkutsk just 33 men. […] So, those Mongols, knowing that in the fortresses there are only a small number of Russian servicemen, come to Buryat lands and live here for years. [They] oppress the Buryat people and forcibly collect yasak from them for their taišas. When those Buryat yasak-tributaries come to the fortresses and beg us to protect them from those Mongols, we cannot do anything to those Mongols, since their Mongol land is heavily populated, and it is also neighboring many unpeaceful lands.[13]

The same situation emerged between the Muscovites and the Sečen Qaγan’s polity in the eastern part of the Trans-Baikal region. The very first contact between these two parties ended unsuccessfully with the murder of the Tsar’s envoy Yerofei Zabolotskiy by the Buryats in 1650. A second hostile meeting took place in 1658 when Russia established the Nerchinsk fortress and subjugated a number of local Tungusic peoples, angering the the frontier nobles of the Sečen Qaγan’s polity. Due to a lack of personnel, the Muscovites were only able to control only the territory surrounding their fortress.[14] In the area around Nerchinsk, the same dual-tribute system appeared as in the regions of the Yenisei River, the Sayan Mountains and the Cis-Baikal area, where the interests of the Mongol nobles collided with Muscovite expansion.

According to a register produced by the authorities of the Nerchinsk fortress in 1680, all 620 yasak-tributaries were represented by the various clans of the Tungusic peoples, except for 51 Buryat men, who submitted to the Russians only in 1678.[15] Since the Muscovites were not controlling the territory south of the Nerchinsk fortress, the Russians resettled the large group of Buryats from the Sečen Qaγan’s polity who had submitted in 1680 to Lake Baikal. This allowed them to escape forced resettlement by the Qalqa nobles. Both sides thus divided the Tungusic population that lived in the area of Nerchinsk.

Beginning in the early 1670s, Mongol nobles from Tüsiyetü Qaγan’s polity sought a diplomatic solution to the problem of Russian encroachment. However, the failure of their missions to Moscow and to Siberian authorities finally forced them to choose a belligerent solution. In the 1680s, the confrontation between the Qalqa nobles and the Russians came to a head in the Qing-Russian conflicts in the Amur Basin. Some Soviet and Russian scholars have argued that the Qing Empire incited Tüsiyetü Qaγan to attack Russian fortresses during the Nerchinsk treaty process.[16] Since there is significant evidence to show that the Qing appealed to the Tüsiyetü Qaγan and Sečen Qaγan to join their anti-Muscovite alliance, I partly agree with those scholars’ conclusions. However, as I have shown above, the Qalqa nobles also thought that their claim on the Buryat population of the Circum-Baikal region was legitimate and that their interests coincided with those of the Qing. As a result, Tüsiyetü Qaγan’s closest allies forged an agreement, apparently in 1686 at the Kürenbelčir’s assembly (čiγulγan): Geleg Noyan Qutuγtu from the Qalqa right wing and the newly selected Sečen Qaγan Rabdan Yeldeng agreed to begin fighting simultaneously along the northern frontier of Mongolia, from the Cis-Baikal fortresses up to Nerchinsk fortress, and resettle the disputed population to Qalqa encampments by force.[17]

The forces of Geleg Noyan Qutuγtu headed to the Cis-Baikal fortresses, and the forces of Sečen Qaγan Rabdan Yeldeng headed to Nerchinsk. However, due to heavy snowfalls following the harsh winter of 1687, they could not launch any attacks. Then Sečen Qaγan Rabdan Yeldeng passed away suddenly in early 1688. Consequently, only some troops from the Sečen Qaγan’s polity directly joined the main forces of Tüsiyetü Qaγan when they attacked the Selenginsk and Udinsk fortresses.[18] The Sečen Qaγan’s soldiers were under the command of Dayan Zaisan, the subordinate of Dalai Kontaiša, while those of Tüsiyetü Qaγan were led by Sidisiri Baγatur Qungtayiji. Dalai Kontaiša was Ananda Dalai Jinong (d. 1697), the ninth son of the first Sečen Qaγan Šoloi, and Dayan Zaisan was Norbu Dayan Jayisang, the head of the Barγu people, under Ananda’s rule. We will meet them again in the pages that follow.

At the end of January 1688, Mongol forces besieged the Selenginsk fortress, where the Russian ambassador Golovin was waiting for the Qing mission.[19] Half of the Mongol forces, 2,000 troops, were heading to the Cis-Baikal Buryats to cross the ice-covered Lake Baikal when met 300 Russian Streltsy troops near the Udinsk fortress. In a three-day battle, the Russians suffered heavy casualties (17 killed and 241 wounded, including the commander) and were forced to retreat to Udinsk.[20] But the Mongol forces also sustained great losses, as 300 men were killed, including one of the commanders.[21] They returned to the main forces of Sidisiri Baγatur Qungtayiji and assaulted a fortress in the night of February 29, but lost about 50 men to cannonfire and had to withdraw.[22] Meanwhile, as Tüsiyetü Qaγan’s westward campaign against the Oyirads suffered setbacks, Sidisiri was forced to retreat. The main goal of the operation, to resettle the Buryat population of the western bank of the Lake Baikal, was not achieved.

Just as this battle was taking place in the north, equally bloody battles were fought in the west. The internecine strife among the right wing Qalqa in the 1660s caused a massive flight of population from the right wing to the left wing. After Jasaγtu Sečen Qaγan Čembün (r. 1666–85) was enthroned with the help of the Dzungar Oyirads, he began to request the return of his subjects from the Tüsiyetü Qaγan. But the latter ignored his request, which launched a longstanding conflict between the two wings, and finally led to war. At the end of 1687, the Jasaγtu Qaγan Sira (r. 1685–87) and his ally, the Dzungar commander Dorjijab, were killed in the attack by the Tüsiyetü qaγan. In response, Galdan Bošoqtu Khan (r. 1678–97), Dorjijab’s older brother, marched eastward, attacking the encampments of Tüsiyetü Qaγan and his allies. In two major battles, the forces of Tüsiyetü Qaγan and his allies were heavily beaten, which caused a mass exodus of the Qalqa population in all directions. Most fled to the south and east, following their masters to Inner Mongolia, which was subject to the Qing, but some were blocked by the Dzungar army and driven northward.

On September 30, 1688, at the Topkoi River, 800 Russian troops headed by Golovin launched a nighttime attack on the Tabunangγud people, who were part of the Sečen Qaγan’s polity. Golovin’s troops massacred 200 men. As result of this defeat, the Tabunangγud people (1,200 people in total) were forced to submit to the Russian Tsar. Then, in October, Golovin tried to attack Erke Qungtayiji, Bintu Aqai, and Čing Erdeni, powerful nobles from Tüsiyetü Qaγan’s polity and neighbors of the Selenginsk fortress, who were living between the rivers Kemnik and Zida. However, having heard about the Tabunangγud people’s defeat, they fled their encampments in a great hurry, so that the Muscovite forces could not catch them.[23] Soon these Qalqa Mongol nobles, who could not flee to the south after Tüsiyetü Qaγan, but were forced to remain in their encampments due to the Dzungar army’s blockade, sent envoys to the Selenginsk fortress to negotiate with the Russian side over submission to the Tsar.[24] The vast majority of the Qalqa nobles, however, fled to Qing Inner Mongolia and submitted to the Kangxi emperor.

Due to the war among the Qalqa, the Qing-Russian peace negotiations were delayed and moved from Selenginsk to Nerchinsk. Consequently, when the Russian delegation arrived in Nerchinsk in 1689 to start negotiations, the once powerful and hostile Qalqa Mongol polities had become pathetic crowds of migrants who had submitted either to the Qing Empire or the Muscovites. Nevertheless, their presence at the Qing-Russian negotiations, both covert and overt, was crucial for the treaty’s conclusion.

The Secret Correspondence of Songgotu

Immediately before the opening of negotiations at Nerchinsk, the head of the Qing mission Songgotu memorialized the emperor about those Qalqa Mongols who had submitted to Russia during the Dzungar raids. In his memorial, Songgotu provided translations of three letters by a certain Qalqa noble named Toin Daicing. Barγu leaders had secretly passed Toin Daicing’s letters on to the Qing mission on August 13, 1689.[25] The letters read as follows:

First letter

The letter was submitted to the lord khan of the Celestial Empire, the incarnation of the Bodhisattva Mañjuśrī. [I], Toin Daičing, son of Katan Batur and relative of the Cecen Khan, went [southward through the Gobi], following the [Jebtsundamba] Khutuktu last year. [When I] found out that my encampments and the cattle were captured by Bošoktu, I came to live up to the Ulja River. But in the second month [of this year], two thousand Russian troops came and looted us. [My] subjects were all killed. We three siblings barely survived it. I am memorializing to beg you to request for us to be handed over [to you]. My only son was secretly sent [to you] with his foster father.[26]

Second letter

Memorializing letter of Toin Daičing, son of Cecen Khan’s Katan Batur. Last year, I went [to you], following the [Jebtsundamba] Khutuktu. Afterwards, my encampments were captured by Bošoktu. When I was living up to the Ulja River, the Russians also came and looted us in the second month. We three siblings were captured. My subjects were killed. We have barely survived. I do not know whether you have heard about it or not. Therefore, I am informing you. Do what you like, in order to release and take us.[27]

Third letter

Toin Daičing informs you by letter. Once you have arrived here, [the Russians] chained us with iron hobbles. If you decide to fight, could you please release our lives first? These Russians fear [your power] greatly. They will hand us to you, if you request it. If this letter reaches you, please give me a sign by sending back the tobacco in the small bag.[28]

The three letters by Toin Daičing were accompanied by a letter from the Barγu leaders who had secretly transferred them to the Qing mission:

Blessings. The seven banners of Qalqa were the subjects of the divine khan [i.e. Qing Emperor]. We, the heads of the Onggut and Buryat people, who are [again] headed by Erdeni Šejin, submit [this] letter. Due to the war [caused] by Bošoktu [Khan], the seven banners of Qalqa dispersed. We, the Onggut and Buryat people, are the subjects of Dalai Jinong. [We] lived around the Onon River of the frontier land, [but] we were captured by Russians when we were fleeing from the war. Since then, there was nothing else to do, and we have paid the tribute [to Russia] deceivingly. We were also gathering news about our [Qalqa] rulers. 22 heads including Erdeni Šejin were captured and imprisoned [by the Russians]. We are still thinking about our [Qalqa] rulers. If we rebel, these Russians are going to kill our captured heads. They have ordered us to arrest everyone who comes from your side and surrender them. How can we find a way to desert from here without having our heads get killed? This letter is sent by Manda Batur Hiya and Sirab Mergen Tabunang. If you accept our letter, please instruct both of us secretly. Would it not be harmful for our heads, if this letter was discovered? They say that the Grand Ambassador [Golovin] is coming. They fear you greatly. Also [some of the Russians] say that they are retreating at night. [We] do not know whether that is true or false. Please release and take our heads immediately by skillful methods. We are afraid that they may resettle us suddenly to Nerchinsk, beyond the River Onon. They fear you very much. The people under the rule of [Tungus head Gantimur’s son] Hatanga were given their cattle and properties and moved to the head of the River Nibchu, to places hard to reach.[29]

The messengers also reported the following information orally:

One thousand of our men are Barγu [i.e. Onggut] and eight hundred are Buryats. These Russians want to massacre us and loot our properties, if there is any chance. We are still alive, since we stay armed at night and live in our yurts. Can you release us without letting our heads get killed? [The Russians] ordered us to send eight thousand men to meet the [Russian] Ambassador [Golovin]. We did not send anybody, saying that there is no need to send eight thousand men to meet the Ambassador, since certain heads can meet him. What would be good for us now? Please instruct us.[30]

Songgotu replied to them:

Since the Russian Grand Ambassador has not yet arrived, we have not yet held peace negotiations [with Russia]. Thus, we cannot take you immediately. If we succeed in the negotiations after the arrival of the Grand Ambassador, we will discuss you. If we do not achieve peace, we will take you by force. If the Russians call you, do not go, [but] say that you fear our troops and need to protect your families. Be cautious. If there occur important matters that [we] need to be informed about, come at night by one or two and inform us. At the place where you will meet [us], there will be a boat and a person waiting.

Four days later, on the 2nd day of the 7th month [August 16, 1689], Sirab Mergen Tabunang led seven men to Songgotu and said: “The son of Hatangga, our son-in-law, was appointed hither to supervise us.” Songgotu instructed Sirab Mergen Tabunang “not to let go the son of Hatangga, since he is a very important person.”[31] The memorial is dated the 5th day of the 7th month of the Kangxi 28 [August 19, 1689].

According to these letters, a certain Toin Daicing, a nobleman from the Sečen Qaγan’s polity, and his siblings were captured by Russian troops sent from the Nerchinsk fortress in March 1689. Therefore, Toin Daicing asked the Qing delegates to pressure the Russians to release him and his family. Obviously these three letters were written one after another, but due to interceptions they reached their addressee at once. The Barγu and Buryat leaders, subjects of Dalai Jinong, were seeking their secure defection to the Qing during the peace negotiations. Below, I analyze Toin Daicing’s letters and that written by the Barγu and Buryat heads in order to clarify the hidden context of the official negotiations and define the covert role of these mobile people in shaping the final decision of the Russian negotiator.

The Fate of Toin Erdeni Daičing and His Family

We find the name Toin Erdeni Daičing again in the documents of the Heilongjiang general. In 1692, Heilongjiang General Sabsu memorialized the Lifanyuan about securing the release of the daughter of Qalqa noble Toin Erdeni Daičing from slavery. Sabsu provided this testimony from her nanny, Tanakan:

When the Russians from Nerchinsk plundered and captured [us], during the chaos I managed to flee with my two sons, taking this girl. But on the way the soldiers of Galdan also made much disorder. Thus, we came to Cicigar to submit to the Lord. But our Qalqa man named Normo [captured and] sold this girl together with me to Becemu from the company (niru) of the Daur Suyaltu, for one cow, a bushel of rice, and piece of cotton cloth. We were enslaved in his house. … The uncle of this girl, Katan Batur Taiji, was living in the Qalqa land. I do not know where he lives now. I have heard that the elder brother of this girl, Balba Taiji, was able to escape captivity and flee when the Russians captured her mother. I do not know whether he is alive or not. The girl has now turned nine years old.[32]

The Lifanyuan responded to Sabsu on October 21, 1692 (Kangxi 31.9.12).[33] They investigated the case and found that Katan Batur Taiji, the girl’s uncle, was living under Namjil Wang, a noble under the authority of the Sečen Qaγan, and decided to send her to him.

We do not find this name, Erdeni Toyin Dayičing, in scholarly work on the Treaty of Nerchinsk. Russian archival documents, however, indicate that in 1691, at Nerchinsk, a Mongol named Dzanzan presented a petition in which he begged permission to convert to Christianity.[34] The baptized Tungus Prince Pavel Gantimurov, who stood surety for him, described his origin as follows:

Last year, 197 (1688/1689), [there] were captured in battle the Mongol taiša Toim Daičin, his brother Kondok Čintazi, and his sister Erdeni Toj, the nun. Her novice, the man named Dzanzan, wants to convert to Christianity and told this to your slave, me, many times. After conversion [he wants me] to count him as my son.[35]

Another document, kept in the archives of the Nerchinsk fortress, has interesting information on the person in question. On January 7, 1691, the wife of Toim Daičin, Mandara, orally begged permission from the Nerchinsk voevoda Fedor Skripitsyn to marry her subject woman Baidugun to a man named Sadu, relative of a certain Aranzin. Regarding her husband she stated:

Her husband Toim Daičin was captured last year, 197 (1688/1689), and was kept in Nerchinsk. Living there [some time after that] he died.[36]

Figure 1: Signature of Mandara Qatun, the wife of Erdeni Toyin Dayičing
Figure 1: Signature of Mandara Qatun, the wife of Erdeni Toyin Dayičing

The document, signed by her in Mongolian, reads: “Mandara Qatun, [the wife] of Erdeni Toyin Dayičing, gave the woman named Bayiduqan to the man named Sadu.[37] It would appear that all these sources relate to one person and his family. Based on the materials described above, we can sketch an outline of the misadventures of Erdeni Toyin Dayičing and his family.

Erdeni Toyin Dayičing, the son of Katan Batur Taiji from the Sečen Qaγan’s polity, was captured by Russian troops in March 1689 at the Ulja River, along with his family and younger brother Kondok Čintazi [Mo. čing tayiji] and sister Erdeni Toyin, the Buddhist nun. According to his letters to Songgotu, during the Dzungar raid he followed Jebtsundamba Khutuktu and fled to the Qing Empire. When the Dzungar army withdrew back to the Altai Mountains at the end of 1688, Erdeni Toyin Dayičing came back to his encampments in eastern Mongolia but was attacked by Russian forces and captured. His son Balba Taiji and daughter Jeju escaped capture. After the above-mentioned fighting in the Selenga region, Muscovites were treating Mongols as enemies.

Since the attacks by the Russian ambassador Golovin and the Dzungar leader Galdan occurred at the same time, Qalqa nobles determined that these two cooperated as allies against the Qalqa polities.[38] Therefore, the Qalqa Mongol leaders sought the protection of Qing emperor against the Dzungars and the Russians alike. During the Nerchinsk treaty negotiations, the captured Erdeni Toyin Dayičing therefore begged the Qing mission to request the Muscovites to release him and his family, but he did not succeed. By January 1691, his family remained on the Russian side after he passed away. At the time, his elder brother, Qatan Baγatur tayiji, was living near Namjil Wang, the uncle of the new Sečen Qaγan Ömekei, son of deceased Sečen Qaγan Rabdan Yeldeng.

Figure 2: The family tree of Erdeni Toyin Dayičing
Figure 2: The family tree of Erdeni Toyin Dayičing

So, who was this Erdeni Toyin Dayičing from the Sečen Qaγan’s polity who was captured by Russian troops in March 1689? And why did the Qing delegates not demand that the Russian side release him and his family? Let us look in the family tree of the Sečen Qaγan’s line as described in the Qalqa Mongol chronicles. (Figure 2) In both Qalqa chronicles, Sir-a tuγuji (ST) and Asaraγči neretü-yin teüke (ANT), I have found only one family line that had the title Qatan Baγatur (“hard or rigorous hero”) among the descendants of the Sečen Qaγan Šoloi. According to the ANT, the ninth son of Šoloi Dalai Sečen Qaγan, Sir-a Brasi Qatan Baγatur had two sons, Qatan Baγatur and Erke Toyin.[39] The ST includes an individual named Sir-a Dasi Qatan Baγatur but does not indicate his sons.[40] The Iledkel šastir, which is an official Qing account of aristocratic genealogies, indicates that Šoloi had eleven sons, but lists just ten of them, not mentioning Sir-a Brasi/Dasi Qatan Baγatur. Supposedly, his name is not mentioned in the Sečen qan-u ayimaγ because his descendants did not rule any banner, unlike the descendants of other ten sons of Šoloi.[41] According to the Testament of Gegen Sečen Qan Šoloi compiled by Ananda Dalai Jinong in 1694, the eighth son of Šoloi, Sira Dasi Qatan Baγatur drowned in the water of the Onon River wearing the stolen iron armor of his father.[42] Therefore, I tentatively conclude that Erdeni Toyin Dayičing was the son of Sira Dasi Qatan Baγatur who was named “Erke Toyin” in the ANT. From the Qing sources we know that the elder brother of Erdeni Toyin Dayičing bore the title qatan baγatur, just like the elder son of Sira Dasi Qatan Baγatur. For reasons that remain unclear, the name of the younger brother of Erdeni Toyin Dayičing, Kondok Čing Tayiji, is not mentioned in the ANT.

Why did the Qing delegates do nothing to release them? What was the reason for such a decision? In my view, it was related to the uncertain status of the Qalqa Mongols after the war. Refugee Qalqa nobles in Qing territory were not yet recognized as the subjects of the Empire, and their old encampments were now controlled by the Dzungar Oyirads. Furthermore, having suffered heavy losses in the Dzungar and Muscovite attacks, Erdeni Toyin Dayičing did not possess enough power to be of use to the Manchu delegates. During the negotiations Golovin did not agree to discuss the Mongolian issue, as he did not recognize the Qing authority over the Mongols in question.

One document details this family’s fate after Nerchinsk. Sometime in 1692, a petition was sent to the Tsar from the Irkutsk fortress in which a certain Mongol noble named “Čintaiči” begged permission to convert to Christianity. The content of this petition indicates that this Mongol noble is the same person as Kondok Čing Tayiji, the younger brother of Erdeni Toyin Dayičing. He wrote:

Last year, 197 (1688/89), the Nerchinsk Cossacks together with the Tunguses captured us, my brother Erdeni Taičin with his wife and children and my sister, the nun, Erdeni Toin, at the Ulja River and brought us to Nerchinsk. Then, while living in Nerchinsk, my elder brother and his wife and children died. Just two of his children now remain. In this year, 200 (1691/92), by your great lords’ order, I and my sister, two nieces, and two children of mine were brought [here] to Irkutsk. And, I, great lords, while living in the Nerchinsk fortress among the Russian people, learned to speak Russian a little bit. And I heard that your Christian faith is truly a pure and immaculate faith, compared to our Mongolian faith. [It] shines on all as the sun. And I desire to be a Christian and take the holy baptism together with my wife and children and the nieces.[43]

In February 1693, in Irkutsk, the Danish merchant Eberhard Isbrand Ides, whom the Muscovites sent to the Qing Empire, met a certain Mongol taiša who had converted to Christianity. He also met this taiša’s sister, the nun, who did not accept baptism.[44] No doubt Isbrand describes the same individuals, and the Muscovites decided to transfer Kondok Čing Tayiji and his sister Erdeni Toyin to Irkutsk, far to the west of Nerchinsk, to prevent their flight. Here in Irkutsk, he accepted baptism along with his family, except for his sister.

Previous research shows that in August 1695 forty Buryat migrants fled from Irkutsk to Mongolia under the leadership of two baptized Mongols, the son of Boyar Petr Taišin and Vasilij Stepanov. The joint Cossack-Buryat party sent after them, consisting of 130 men, had two battles with the escapees. Ten fugitives were captured and brought to Irkutsk, where they were all hanged, including the Mongol nun Erdeni Toyin. Investigation among the remaining Buryats showed that the flight was planned well in advance. Those who admitted their guilt were hanged, and the rest were turned over to their relatives.[45] Vasilij Stepanov has long been familiar to scholars, as he was the envoy of the Qalqa noble Mergen Aqai, Buda or Bodoi, the son of Daičin Zaisan, who was sent to Moscow and there converted to Christianity. After the flight of his master, he was sent to Irkutsk to serve there in 1693. The remaining two figures, the son of Boyar Petr Taišin and the Mongol nun Erdeni Toyin, have not previously been identified. Now we can say surely that these people were Kondok Čing Tayiji and his sister Erdeni Toyin. Kondok Čing Tayiji received the family name “Taišin,” meaning “the son of Taiša,” derived from the Russian pronunciation of the Mongol title tayiji. According to the Russian sources, Vasiliy Stepanov or Bodoi returned to his old master Mergen Aqai, while Petruška Taišin—Kondok Čing Tayiji—went to Southern Mongolia.[46]

Figure 3: The image of the Mongol nun Erdeni Toyin and the unidentified Mongol lama (Izbrant 1707: 81)
Figure 3: The image of the Mongol nun Erdeni Toyin and the unidentified Mongol lama (Izbrant 1707: 81)

In sum, due to all of these misadventures, this noble family from the Sečen Qaγan’s polity lost almost everything—their properties, their subjects, and finally their status. The powerful and well-armed Buryat and Barγu groups were in a better position than this family to affect the Muscovites. Therefore, during the negotiations, the Qing side did not take any steps to seek the release of him and his family. They were the only lineage from the descendants of the eleven sons of the first Sečen Qaγan Šoloi that was unable to form its own banner during the Qing period.

The Fate of the Buryat and Barγu People from the Sečen Qaγan’s Polity

From previous scholarship on the Treaty of Nerchinsk, we know that the defection of the Buryat and Onggut people, previously subject to the Russians, was one of the decisive factors leading Golovin to accept Qing demands and conclude the treaty. But evidently no study has carefully examined who these groups were, and why they defected to the Qing. Previous scholarship was likely misled by the common name Buryat (Russian Brat or Bratskie ljudi), which was widely used by Muscovites for all Mongolic groups of the Circum-Baikal region. The Onggut group was identified as a Tungusic people by Soviet scholars.[47] As we can see from the memorial of Songgotu, during the Dzungar raids in 1688 the subjects of Mongol Dalai Jinong – 1000 Onggut men (who were referred also as Barγu) and 800 Buryat (in Mongolian Buriyad) men were forced to submit to Russia. Russian sources say, on August 5, 1688 the subjects of the Mongol noble Dalai-kontaiša, the heads of the “Onkot, Brat, Poinkin, Karanut, Želtut, and Uljat” clans, totalling 1,896 people, submitted to the Russian Tsar at the Nerchinsk fortress and gave eleven horses, 203 cows, and two sabers as tribute.[48] The Dalai Jinong or Dalai-kontaiša mentioned here was the ninth son of the first Sečen Qaγan Šoloi, Ananda Dalai Jinong. As we can see, these Onggut Barγu and Buryat people were the two major groups of his subjects who were forced to submit Russian Tsar.

Let me present the history of these two groups separately. In 1667, a group of Brat people submitted at Nerchinsk and began to pay yasak-tribute, but two years later in 1669, the Mongol forces headed by Dai-kontaiša took them back and resettled them. In 1675, the same group of Brat people came to Nerchinsk fortress, willing to submit and move to Lake Baikal, but sometime after fled back to Mongolia due to the cruel oppression of the Nerchinsk commandant.[49] Then, in 1678, the group of Brat people headed by Turaki and Babuka, consisting of 40 men (obliged to pay yasak-tribute) submitted to the Russian Tsar in Nerchinsk. Dai-kontaiša’s envoy sent after them threatened the Nerchinsk commandant Shulgin with war if he will not give back those fugitives.[50] They were not given back but rather sent to the west, to Lake Baikal. In 1679, at the River Itantsa near Lake Baikal, the Nerchinsk Cossacks built a wintering camp, and there those new subjects of the Tsar started to pay yasak-tribute. In March 15, 1680, a new, bigger group of Brat people, about one thousand men, came out to Nerchinsk and were also resettled by Cossacks to the Itantsa camp, escaping a forced resettlement by Mongol forces.[51] In 1682 almost half of them (400 men) headed by 4 šulengas defected back to Qalqa, not willing to be resettled further on the western bank of Lake Baikal.[52] Therefore, this Brat group from the Sečen qaγan’s polity was split into two and was living separately in two different places, one on the Russian side near Lake Baikal, and the other in their old pasture land under the Qalqa nobles. The war in Qalqa in 1688 forced the remaining half of them to submit again to Russia. Mentioned here several times as the master of this group, Dai kontaiša was the second son of Ananda Dalai Jinong, Γongγor Dai Qungtayiji, and those Brat people were the Qori Buryat people.[53] The participation of Ananda Dalai Jinong’s troops in attacks on the Selenginsk and Udinsk fortresses at the end of 1687, under the command of Sidisiri Baγatur Qungtayiji, was an attempt to resettle the latter’s refugee Buryat subjects, who had submitted to Russia in 1680. Therefore, this Buryat group of Ananda Dalai Jinong was not the same as the Buryat people of the northern side of Lake Baikal. Their submission history was more complicated, as one can see above.

Figure 4: The family of Ananda Dalai Jinong
Figure 4: The family of Ananda Dalai Jinong

In contrast to the Buryat group, half of whom had been living under the Russian rule since 1680, most of the Barγu groups, including the Onggots,[54] never submitted to the Russian throne before 1688. To the contrary, they were counted as “archenemies” of the Muscovite state, along with the Tunguses of the Čemčagir, Poinkin, and Karanut clans, who betrayed the Tsar’s throne after only a few years after their submission. On November 20, 1681, a joint party of Poinkin, Karanut, Čimčigir, and Onkot people, together with the Mongols, attacked the Tsar’s subjects the Nerchinsk Tunguses at the rivers Nerča and Uldjumča and killed more than 30 of their “good” men. They stole the horses and cattle of the Cossacks and subject Tunguses. In revenge, at the beginning of 1682, a Russian party consisting of 700 men attacked their camps at the river Onon, killed about 150 men, and captured 200 women and children.[55] In 1684, the same Onkot, Poinkin, Karanut and Čamčagir people from the ulus of the Mongolian Dalai Kontaizi, Ananda Dalai Jinong, stole the Tungus and Cossacks’ cattle from the Telenbinsk and the Yeravna fortresses.[56] According to the report of the Nerchinsk Cossacks, in the following years these groups increasingly took similar hostile actions.[57] Only the war among the Qalqa forced them along with the Buryats to submit to the Tsar. Their leaders were rightly considered untrustworthy, and to were taken hostage and kept in the fortress. All these factors made them desirable allies for the Qing, and Songgotu was quick to take advantage of it.

As indicated by the following document from the Heilongjiang general’s archives, the whole defection process of these groups was initiated and approved by the Qing. Sirab Mergen Tabunang, mentioned several times in the memorial of Songgotu as a person trusted by the Barγu and Buryat leaders, was indeed a Qing spy. He oversaw this operation. In 1696 he applied to the Heilongjiang general for a new post and listed his previous services:

In Kangxi 26 (1687), the Bodyguard Unda, the Judge Mabudai, and Dahū asked the people of Cecen khan if anyone knew the road to Nerchinsk. But everybody, old and young, said that they did not know [the road]. Only, I, Sirab Gecul, answered that I knew this road. And the ministers instructed me to go to the Nerchinsk and find out how many troops [they] had inside the city, many or few, and scout out the path for the Great Army—whether there was grass and water. I, Sirab, took seven men with me and reached Nerchinsk riding day and night. I was captured by the Russian noble Ivan and released after five days. I, Sirab, came back in that same year and on the 25th day of the 11th month in Beijing told the Bodyguard Ananda: “The road is full with grass and water. [It is] open to go.” Then he memorialized to the Emperor. The imperial edict read “Sirab has done well,” and I was granted a gown made of brocade and three pieces of silk. When in the 28th year of the Kangxi reign Senior Assistant Chamberlain of the Imperial Bodyguard [Songgotu], Great [maternal] Uncle [Tung Guo Gan], Tassel Father (?), and Vice President of the Board Unda marched to Nerchinsk with the army, I served as a guide and reached Nerchinsk, not departing from the path with grass and water. Senior Assistant Chamberlain of the Imperial Bodyguard [Songgotu], Great [maternal] Uncle [Tung Guo Gan], Tassel Father (?), and Vice President of the Board Unda noticed my service for the great affair. Then, they found out that the subjects of Qalqa [Dalai] Jinong, one thousand eight hundred men, submitted to Russia and were living in the place named Guwanggu, beyond Nerchinsk city. I, Sirab, suggested that Senior Assistant Chamberlain of the Imperial Bodyguard [Songgotu], Great [maternal] Uncle [Tung Guo Gan], Tassel Father (?), and Vice President of the Board go to those people and persuade them to submit using skillful methods. Minister [Songgotu] agreed. I, Sirab, came to those defectors and told them: “The generosity of the divine khan is great. For what reason do you want to become the subjects of Russia?” And those people agreed with my words and followed me to submit. When we were crossing the river Hara Muren,[58] the Russians caught up with us. Then, I, Sirab, commanding Barγu troops, fought and defeated the Russians. The Three Ministers know about it.[59]

For such helpful service, Sirab Mergen Tabunang was granted the rank of colonel (jalan i janggin), and those Onggut and Buryat people were placed under his command, despite the fact that their master Ananda Dalai Jinong was still alive.[60] In his letter, written in 1690 after the battle of Ulqui, Ananda Dalai Jinong complained to the Qing emperor that a certain Sirab Darqan Jayisang, the subject of Qongγor Aqai Dayičing, did not send the Onggut and Bürid (in the Manchu translation Onggot and Boriyat) troops during the battle against the Dzungars.[61] The Qongγor Aqai Dayičing mentioned here was the closest neighbor of the Nerchinsk fortress and son of Bumba Darqan Baγatur Qungtayiji, the fourth son of Šoloi Sečen Qaγan.[62] According to the Qing sources, his mother Dalai Dagini Qatun was delivering supplies to the Qing troops during the Albazin conflict.[63] Clearly Songgotu agreed to use the old allies of Qing, sending Sirab to the Onggut and Buryat groups to enlist them to the Qing side. As we know, the operation was well organized.

In November 1690, 343 men headed by šulengas Banbai and Holbo from the Buryat group of the aforementioned “traitors” had returned to Nerchinsk and submitted again to the Russian Tsar, fleeing from the Dzungars’ latest attack on the Qalqa encampments.[64] The Russian authorities, having learned from the series of painful incidents of the previous years, immediately decided to resettle them near Lake Baikal, preventing their flight back to Mongolia. The rest of the “traitors” mostly consisted of Onggut people, who had fled to the Butha’s Solon territory and were later included in the Eight Banners of Mukden.[65] According to the words of Ananda Dalai Jinong, the former supreme master of these people, after his submission to the Qing there were formed sixty companies (niru) from his subjects in 1689, not including the Ongγud Barγu and Buryat groups. But due to the second series of attacks conducted by Galdan in 1690, thirty-six of them were captured by Oyirads and dispersed in various places.[66] Since his successor Yanjubdorji had under his command just twelve companies, including eight Barγu companies extracted in 1734, one can imagine the massive scale of the forced migrations that happened in this region in the late seventeenth century. This gave the Muscovites a good opportunity to occupy the depopulated steppe to the south of Nerchinsk fortress, which they had not previously controlled.

When the Qalqa Mongol nobles returned to their old encampments, after the defeat and death of Dzungar leader Galdan Bošoqtu Khan, they found that their northern frontier land was already populated by Russian subjects. Such expansion had been possible because Qing authorities remained cautious of a Russian-Dzungar alliance and had ordered Qalqa nobles to live in peace with the Muscovites and maintain the Nerchinsk treaty.[67] From this time on, forced to obey this new Qing order, Qalqa nobles could no longer claim to collect tribute from their old disputed subjects around Lake Baikal. The dual-tribute problem was finally solved for the Muscovites, opening the possibility of a future border delimitation in this region, the farthest under their rule, which they did not have enough power to control.


When the Muscovites appeared around Lake Baikal in the mid-seventeenth century and started to oblige local people to pay yasak-tribute to the Tsar, the economic interests of the Qalqa nobility were severely harmed. The failure of diplomatic negotiations eventually led Qalqa polities to decide to use force. Unfortunately for the Qalqa nobles, their large-scale military action that aimed to resettle the Buryats from the Circum-Baikal region to the Qalqa encampments coincided with the arrival of a sizable body of well-trained Russian troops and the beginning of the Dzungar intervention. Due to the defeat of the main armies of the Qalqa polities in 1688, most of their population fled eastward and southward to the Qing borders. But there were also some who were forced to flee northward and submit to the Russian Tsar, or even captured as prisoners of war. Among them were the representatives of one noble family, the descendants of Sir-a Dasi Qatan Baγatur, the tenth son of the first Sečen Qaγan Šoloi, headed by Erdeni Toyin Dayičing, captured by the Muscovites at the beginning of 1689. Although he secretly begged Songgotu for help, his family was left unreleased, and the Qing made no request to the Russian side on their behalf. Manchu officials, the great pragmatists of the Inner Asian political field, preferred to use the mobile power of the Mongol nomads to manipulate the Russian side during the negotiation process. As we know, it was the defection of the “Brat and Onkot people” that influenced the final decision of Golovin to agree with the Qing demands. Thus the fate of the Mongols from the independent Qalqa polities had been predetermined: having suffered great losses in the battles with the Dzungar leader Galdan Bošoqtu Khan, they were forced to submit either to Qing Empire or to the Muscovites.



  • RGADA: Rossiiskii Gosudarstvenyi Arhiv Drevnikh Aktov (Russian State Archives of Ancient Documents)
  • SPbFARAN: Sankt-Peterburgskii filial Arkhiva Rossiiskoi Akademii Nauk (Archives of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg)
  • SPbIIRAN: Sankt-Peterburgskii Istoricheskii Institut Rossiiskoi Akademii Nauk (Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg)
  • HJYD: Heilongjiang jiangjun yamen dang (Archives of the Heilongjiang General), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies ILCAA Library
  • NQMED: Neige quanzong Manwen Eluosi dang (内閣全宗 満文俄羅斯檔) (Manchu Archive of the Grand Secretariat, Russian Affairs), The First Historical Archives of China

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    1. Peter C. Perdue, China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2005), 161–63.return to text

    2. Russko-Kitaiskie otnosheniia v XVII veke, materialy i dokumenty, tom 2, 1686–1691 (Moskva: Nauka, 1972), 27–28.return to text

    3. Okada Hidehiro, “Outer Mongolia in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” Ajia Afurika gengo bunka kenkyū 5 (1972): 1–11.return to text

    4. Jiγačidai Buyandelger “Abatai qaγan ba Tümed-ün Altan qaγan-u qaričaγan-ača qalq-a-yin erten-ü teüken-deki kedün asaγudal-i sedüblekü ni” in Öbür Mongγol-un yeke surγaγuli-yin erdem sinjilegen-ü sedkül 1999.1: 90. This was suggested, at least, by his descendant Wačirai Tüsiyetü qaγan Čaqundorji (r. 1655–99) one century later. Dumdadu ulus-un teüke-yin nigedüger arkiv and Öbür mongγol-un yeke surγaγuli-yin mongγol sudulul-un degedü surγaγuli, eds., Dayičing gürün-ü dotuγadu yamun-u mongγol bičig-ün ger-ün dangsa (Köke qota: Öbür mongγol-un arad-un keblel-ün qoriy-a, 2005), 6: 18–19.return to text

    5. “Erte manu elingčeg Wačirai sayin qaγan ene jüg-dür burqan-u šašin ügei qarangγui aγsan učir-a getülgegči dalai blam-a Sodnam rjamču-yin gegen-e mörgügsen-dür Wačirai qaγan kemen čola qayiralaju adistidlaγsan–iyar qalq-a ögeled qoyar-i šašin-u naran-iyar geyigülügsen-ü tula ene jüg-tür nom-iyar tengsel ügei yeke ačitu bölüge basa ber Layiqur qaγan-i Jalayir tayiji yeke köbegün-ü üre bile kemejü qaγan-i talbiγsan kiged Layiqur qaγan-i ögeled qoruγaγsan-tür ögeled-dür mordaju köbker-tür yeke bayiri-yi daruγad ögeled-i toyin-dur oruγulju ösiy-e-yi-ni abuγsan tula törü yirtinčü-ber tengsel ügei yeke ači-anu eyimü bölüge.” [In old times, when in this side there was no Dharma, my great-grandfather Abatai had prostrated to His Holiness Dalai Lama bSod-nams rGya-mTsho and received the blessed title of Wačirai qaγan. And for enlightening both Qalqa and Oirats with the light of Dharma’s sun, earned great appreciation for Dharma. And also appointed Layiqur as qaγan, as he was a descendant of eldest son of Jalayir tayiji [=Geresenje] and when the Oirats murdered him set out campaign against them and at Köbker defeating them took the revenge of Layiqur qaγan. This was the great appreciation of him for the State] (Dayičing, 6: 18-19.) All translations from Mongolian, Manchu, and Russian are mine unless otherwise noted.return to text

    6. Borjigidai Oyunbilig, “Tuyaγ-a ‘Mečin jil-ün yeke čaγaja-yin tuqai kedün asaγudal,’” Öbür Mongγol-un yeke surγaγuli-yin erdem sinjilegen-ü sedkül 2007.1: 108.return to text

    7. Presumably, this title was a reference to another victorious Altan Qaγan from the Tümed myriarchy, who was campaigning successfully against the Oyirads. The title is rendered as Altyn tsar’ in some Russian sources.return to text

    8. Jiγačidai Buyandelger, “Abatai qaγan,” 90.return to text

    9. Munkh-Erdene Lhamsuren, “The 1640 Great Code: An Inner Asian Parallel to the Treaty of Westphalia,” Central Asian Survey 29 (2010): 276.return to text

    10. Meaning eight white horses and one white camel.return to text

    11. Li Baowen, “Dayičing ulus ba Mongγol-un qalq-a qaγantu ulus – 1655 on-du” in Archival Documents on Mongolian History: Observations on the Present and Plans for the Future, ed. F. Hiroshi and D. Ulziibaatar (Tokyo: Tokyo Foreign Language University, 2004), 152–56.return to text

    12. Battsengel Natsagdorj, “On the People of Khariad (Qariyad),” Études mongoles et sibériennes, centrasiatiques et tibétaines 46 (2015): 8.return to text

    13. “ … приезжают де с мунгалской степи от мунгалских тайшей в братские землицы мунгалские люди по вся годы и збирают з братцких и иркуцких ясачных людей ясак на своих тайшей силно и чинят де ясачным людем обиды и налоги отымают у ясачных людей жен и детей и увозят к себе в мунгалскую землю и от тово же в твоем великого государя ясачном зборе во всех острогах чинитца многая поруха и в ясачных иноземцах смута, а оборонять де государь ясачных людей служилыми людми от мунгалских людей некем потому что приезжает мунгалских людей в брацкие землицы человек по двести и по триста, а служилых государь людей в острогах за малолюдством бывает мало в нижнем Брацком остроге служилых людей по шестнатцати человек да беломестных казаков поселено двенатцать человек в Балаганском государь в остроге служилых людей тритцать человек в Ыркуцком остроге дватцать восемь человек и ведают государь то мунгальские люди что в острогах служилых людей мало. Приехав в брацкую землю живут в брацкой земле по году не съезжая и брацким ясачным людем чинят насилства и обиды и налоги и всякое разорение и ясак на своих тайшей емлют за угрозою силно и те государь ясачные люди приходя в Брацкие и Ыркуцкой остроги бьют челом тебе великому государю безпрестанно чтоб их служилые люди от мунгалских людей оберегали, а служилые государь люди задору с мунгалскими людми чинить не смеют потому государь что мунгальская земля многолюдна и к той мунгалской земле прилегли многие неясачные землицы.” (SPbFARAN 21:4:23, 258.)return to text

    14. A. R. Artemjev, Goroda i ostrogi Zabaikal’ia i Priamur’ia vo vtoroi polovine XVII – XVIII vv. (Vladivostok: Rossiiskaia Akademiia Nauk, 1999), 39.return to text

    15. SPbFARAN 21:4:24, 90.return to text

    16. V. A. Aleksandrov, Rossiia na dal’nevostochnyh rubezhah (vo vtoroj polovine XVII veka) (Moskva: Izdatel’stvo Nauka, 1969), 155–63; E. M. Zalkind, Prisoedinenie Buriatii k Rossii (Ulan-Ude: Buriatskoe knizhnoe izdatel’stvo, 1958), 76.return to text

    17. Battsengel Natsagdorj, “Geleg Noyan Qutuγtu and His Darkhad Subjects from the Khuvsgul-Sayan Region,” Inner Asia 16 (2014): 7–33.return to text

    18. G. I. Slesarchuk, comp., Materialy po istorii Russko-Mongol’skih otnoshenii, Russko-Mongol’skie otnosheniia, 1685–1691: sbornik dokumentov (Moskva: Vostochnaia literatura RAN, 2000), 143–44.return to text

    19. Russko-Kitaiskie otnosheniia v XVII veke, materialy i dokumenty, tom 2, 1686–1691 (Moskva: Izdatel’svo Nauka, 1972), 250.return to text

    20. Aleksandrov, Rossiia na dal’nevostochnykh, 160.return to text

    21. Russko-Kitaiskie otnosheniia 1686–1691, 275, 277.return to text

    22. Russko-Kitaiskie otnosheniia 1686–1691, 277.return to text

    23. Russko-Kitaiskie otnosheniia 1686–1691, 355–57.return to text

    24. Russko-Kitaiskie otnosheniia 1686–1691, 364.return to text

    25. I thank my dear teacher Professor Yanagisawa Akira of Waseda University, Tokyo, who generously shared with me a copy of this document, which is currently inaccessible due to the ongoing digitization process at the First Historical Archives.return to text

    26. “Manjusiri hūbilgan abkai fejergi eiten i ejen han de, bithe wesimbumbi. hatan batur i jui cecen han i mugūn i deo / toin daicing duleke aniya, hūtuktu be dahame genehe bihe. mini amargideri bošoktu de, boigon, ulga i jergi / jaka be oljilabure jakade, ulja i bira i wasihūn nukteme yaburede, juwe biyade, oros i minggan cooha jifi, membe / jeke. albatu jušen be gemu waha. meni ahūn deo ilan nofi ergen be teile bibuhebi. hūdun leheme gaijireo / seme wesimbumbi. mini emhūn jui be, meme ama be suwaliyame ukambume unggihe bihe.” (NQMED 15 173-1, 172–78.)return to text

    27. “Cecen / han i harangga hatan batur i jui toin daicing bithei alarangge. tuleke aniya, kūtuktu be dahame genehe bihe. / amala mini boobe bošoktu de oljilabufi, ulja i wasihūn nukteme yaburede, juwe biyade, oros jifi, geli jeke. meni / ahūn deo ilan nofi be gajiha. mini jušen be waha. meni ergen be teile funcefi bi. suwe donjiha, donjihakū be / sarkū. uttu ofi donjibumbi. ai arga deribufi, membe gajira be, suwe sembi tere.” (NQMED 15 173-1, 172–78.)return to text

    28. “Toin daicing bithei alarangge. suwembe isinjime jakan, membe sele sideri tabuha, aikabade afandure gese oci, meni / ergen be argai neneme tucibuci ojoreo, ere oros ambula gelembi. te uthai gaji seme hacihiyaci, bumbi tere. / ere bithe isinaha temgetu, jumanggi de, dembegu tebufi unggireo.” (NQMED 15 173-1, 172–78.)return to text

    29. “Om sain elhe okini. / enduringge han de, kalkai nadan gūsa harangga bihe, erdeni šajin onggūt, burat i data bithe alibumbi. bošoktu i dain de / kalkai nadan gūsa durgime aššaha. onggūt, burat, be gemu dalai jinong ni jušen bihe. jecen onon i birai / šurdeme nukteme bihe. dain de teisulebufi jailambi sehei oros de gaibuha. arga akū ofi, taka jeldeme alban buhe. / be kemuni meni ejete i mejige be gaime bihe. erdeni šajin i jergi orin juwe data be jafafi horihabi. te gūnin / meni ejete be gūnihai bihe. ere oros membe ubašaci, meni jafabuha data be waki sembi. suweni ergici niyalma / jici jafafi benju seme mende selgiyehebi. meni data be waburakū bime, ubašaci ojoro arga adaramani. manda batur hiya, / sirab mergen tabunang juwe nofi bithe alibuha, ere bithe be urušere gese oci, meni juwe nofi de, narhūšame / deldeme gosireo. ere bithe be firgembuci, meni data de ehe ayoo. amba elcin jimbi sembi. ese suwende ambula / gelembi. geli dobori nukcimbi sembi. yargiyan tašan be sarkū. amba elcin i jidere onggolo, meni data be / hūdun argai gaicina. onon i bira be toofi, nibcoo de tatacina. suwende ambula gelembi kai. hatangga i / jergi urse de, ini yaya ulin, ulga be bufi, gamame nibcoo bira be wesime, ba i akdun de genehe.” (NQMED 15 173-1, 172–78.)return to text

    30. “Meni hoki barhū minggan haha, burat i jakūn tanggū haha bi. ere oros i arbun / membe damu bahaci yooni wafi, olji araki sembi. be dobori deri, meni beyese jebele ashafi, booci / aljafi, seremšeme ojoro jakade, teksifi bi. ambasa membe adarame arga deribufi, meni jafabuha data be waburakū / bime. membe suwaliyame tucibureo. jai membe jakūn tanggū niyalma tucibufi, amba elcin be okdome gene sehe bihe. be / elcin be okdonoci, emu utu dalaha niyalma genembi tere. jakūn tanggū niyalma ai baita seme genehekū. be te adarame / ohode sain. mende emu gisun tacibureo.” (NQMED 15 173-1, 172–78.)return to text

    31. “Oros i amba elcin isinjire unde ofi, / meni cohofi jihe doro acara gisun be, gisurere unde, uttu be dahame, suwembe uthai gaici ojorakū, amba / elcin isinjiha erinde, gisurefi, sain i acame toktoci, suweni jalin te gisurere babi. acarakū oci, tere erinde / suwembe hūsun i ganambi. ere sidende, oros suwembe, fidere hūlara baita oci, suwe damu meni cooha de, hehe / juse, boigon, ulga be gaiburahao seme anagan arame, siltame ume genere, erei sidende, suwe saikan seremšeme, beyebe / karma. jai aika encu hacin i mende donjibuci acara baita bici, emu juwe niyalma dobori hūlhame jifi alanju. suweni boljohon i / bade, niyalma weihu be, dobori deri tebufi, belhehei bisu. seme tacibufi unggihe bihe. nadan biyai ice juwe de sirab / mergen tabunang ni beyebe tebume nadan niyalma geli jifi alarangge. hatangga i jui be mende hojihon obufi, membe seremšebume / tebuhebi. sehe manggi, amban be sirab mergen tabunang ni emhun beyede, narhūšame tacibuhangge. hatangga i jui be ume / turibure, ere niyalma umesi oyonggo. ere sidende saikan hoššome bibu.” (NQMED 15 173-1, 172–78.)return to text

    32. “Toin erdeni daicing ni nibcoo hoton i oros de jafabure burgin de ere sargan jui be, bi gaifi mini juwe haha jui emgi burulame ukame tucifi, ebsi jidere de geli k’aldan i cooha de burgifi, ejen be baime cicigar bade jihe manggi, meni kalkai normo gebungge niyalma ere ajige jui, mimbe suwaliyame dagūr suyaltu nirui bacimu de emu ihan, bele emu sin, mocin emke gaime uncaha. be becemu i boode aha ohobi … ere sargan jui banjiha amji katan baturu taiji kalkai bade bihe. te aibide bisire be sarkū. ere sargan jui banjiha ahūn balba taiji, ini eme be oros i niyalma jafara de burulame tucike seme donjiha. te bisire akū be sarkū sembi. sargan jui uyun se ohobi.” (HJYD M8933, 6-1692: 172–74.)return to text

    33. HJYD M8933, 10-1692: 243–47.return to text

    34. RGADA 1142:1:56, 61.return to text

    35. “В прошлом государи во РЧЗ-м году взят на бою мугалской тайша Тоим даичин з братом Кондок чинтазием и с сестрою их старицею Эрдени тою. А у нее де старицы есть человек ее манзи имянем Дзанзан и хочет де он креститца в православную християнскую веру и о том де он мне холопу вашему говорил не по одно время и чтоб мне холопу вашему окрестя ево держать в место сына.” (RGADA 1142:1:56, 62.)return to text

    36. “в прошлом де во РЧЗ-м году взятъ муж ея Тоим дайчин в Нерчинск и живучи де в Нерчинску муж ея умре.” (RGADA 1142:1:56 57) In my estimation, the term manzi comes from Mongolian bandi “novice.” See John Krueger, Materials for an Oirat-Mongolian to English Citation Dictionary, Part Three: The Consonants (Bloomington, Indiana: The Mongolia Society Inc., 1984), 583.return to text

    37. “Erdeni toyin dayičing-ni mandara qatun: bayiduqan neretei em-e-yi: sadu neretei ere-tü ögbe:” (RGADA 1142:1:56, 57.)return to text

    38. Materialy po istorii Russko-Mongol’skih otnoshenii, Russko-mongol’skie otnosheniia, 1685–1691: sbornik dokumentov, 194.return to text

    39. Byamba, Asaraγči neretü-yin teüke (Ulaanbaatar: Mönkhiin useg, 2011), 269.return to text

    40. Sir-a tuγuji (Ulaanbaatar: Mönkhiin useg, 2011), 167. Sir-a Brasi/Dasi’s name comes from Mongolian and Tibetan words: Sira < Mo. sir “yellow,” Brasi/Dasi < Tib. bkra shis “good fortune.”return to text

    41. Γadaγadu mongγol qotung ayimaγ-ud-un vang güng-üd-ün iledkel šastir, ed. Borjigin Mönggündalai (Kökeqota: Öbür Mongγol-un arad-un keblel-ün qoriy-a, 2006), 2: 162–63.return to text

    42. Kh. Perlee, “Dornod Mongold XVII zuund ömč khuvaasan temdegleliin tukhai,” Studia Ethnographica 5.2 (1977): 44.return to text

    43. “В прошлом государи во РЧЗ-м году на Улзе реке нерчинские казаки и с ясашными тунгусами взяли нас з братом моим родным Ердени тайчином з женами и з детми и сестрою нашею старицею Ердени тоин и свезли нас в Нерчинск. И в Нерчинску государи брат мой болшей з женою и з детми умерли а еще государи брата моего детей осталось двое. И в нынешнем государи в С-м году меня с сестрою моею да з двумя детми да з двумя племянницами по вашему великих государей указу привезли в Ыркуцк. А в Нерчинску государи живучи я многое время и меж руских людей языка рускому малое число навык. И слышу что ваша православная християнская истинная непорочная вера правая при нашем мунгалском законе яко солнце сияет и во всех и справленьях законных. И хочю я быти христянин и приняти святое крещенье з женою и з детми и с племянницами.” (RGADA 1121:1:55, 5.)return to text

    44. Eberhard Isbrand Ides and Adam Brand, Zapiski o russkom posol’stve v Kitai, 1692 – 1695, ed. M. I. Kazanin (Moskva: Vostochnaia literatura, 1967), 139.return to text

    45. A. P. Okladnikov, Ocherki iz istorii zapadnykh buriat-mongolov (XVII-XVIII vv.) (Leningrad: Sotsekgiz, 1937), 197; E. M. Zalkind, Prisoedinenie Buriatii k Rossii (Ulan-Ude: Buriatskoe knizhnoe izdatel’stvo, 1958), 101–4.return to text

    46. Zalkind, Prisoedinenie, 104.return to text

    47. B. O. Dolgikh, Rodovoi i plemennoj sostav Sibiri v XVII veke (Moskva: Izdatel’stvo Nauka, 1960), 348; Aleksandrov, Rossiia na dal’nevostochnykh, 108.return to text

    48. Materialy po istorii Russko-Mongol’skih otnoshenii, Russko-Mongol’skih otnosheniia, 1685–1691: sbornik dokumentov, 236.return to text

    49. Dopolneniia k aktam istoricheskim sobrannyia i izdannyia arkheograficheskoiu kommissieiu (Sanktpeterburg: Tipografija Eduarda Pratsa, 1857), 6: 84–85; Dopolneniia k aktam istoricheskim sobrannyia i izdannyia arkheograficheskoiu kommissieiu (Sanktpeterburg: Tipografija Eduarda Pratsa, 1859), 7: 371–72.return to text

    50. SPbFARAN 21:4:23, 314–15.return to text

    51. SPbFARAN 21:4:24, 84–86; RGADA 1105:1:2, 10–11.return to text

    52. RGADA 1142:1:57, 48; SPbIIRAN K18:43, 1–2; SPbFARAN 21:4:24, 84–86.return to text

    53. Byamba, Asaraγči, 269; Battsengel Natsagdorj, XVII zuuny Mongol-Orosyn hariltsaan dahi hariyatyn asuudal (Ulaanbaatar: Admon, 2013), 46.return to text

    54. According to ethnographic studies, the clan Onxod was widely spread among the ethnic groups of northwestern Mongolia. See S. Badamkhatan, Khövsgöliin darkhad yastan (Ulaanbaatar: ShUAKh, 1965), 85; S. Pürevjav, Khotgoidyn ugsaa garal ba tüükhiin asuudald XVI-XIX zuun (Ulaanbaatar: Shinjlekh Ukhaany Akademiin Khevlel, 1970), 30–31; and B. Sandag, Bukhyn Sandagiin Myangad sudlalyn büteel tuurvil, ed. Püreviin Barianjav (Ulaanbaatar: Soëmboprinting, 2015), 126–28. All the above mentioned researchers considered these Onxods as the successors of the Önggüd people, supposedly based on the evidence about this “tribe” from Rashiduddin Fazlullah’s Jami‘u’t-tawarikh, from its Russian translation which gives the form Ongut instead of Önggüd. Yet, they did not notice that the successors of this tribe were known to the Mongol chroniclers as the Enggüd. See Qad-un ündüsün quriyangγui altan tobči (Ulaanbaatar: Admon, 2002), 1: 288. And further they suggested that the Onxod people among the Buryats also descend from this Önggüd/Enggüd tribe. But all those Onxod people actually originated from the Buryats, rather than the reverse. Among the Bulgad Buryats live the people from the Onhotoj clan, which was already known in 1689 as one of the Buryat clans obliged to pay the yasak tribute to the Balagansk fortress. (Dolgikh, Rodovoi, 217.) According to the Buryat historical legends published by S.P. Baldaev, the people of the Onhotoj clan along with the other clans Ongoj, Hogoj, Holtubai, and Irhidej were considered the descendants of a certain Obogon, who was born out of wedlock from the Bulgad woman. (Rodoslovnye predaniia i legendy buryat [Ulan-Ude: Izdatel’stvo BGU, 2012], 134.) Among the Oka Buryats there was a saying about the numerousness of the Onxod Barγad people. Therefore, I suggest that the Ongkot or Ongγod people of the Barγu people who were under the rule of Ananda Dalai Jinong at the end of the 17th century shared a common origin with those Onxod people among the Khotogoids, Myangads and the Darkhads.return to text

    55. SPbFARAN 21:4:24, 182–84.return to text

    56. RGADA 1142:1:34, 44–45.return to text

    57. RGADA 1142:1:51, 26–29.return to text

    58. According to the report by Golovin, the 400 Russian troops sent after the fled Onkot and Brat people were forced to retreat losing 27 men killed in the battle at the River Shilka. (Russko-Kitaiskie otnosheniia, 1972, 600.) Apparently the River Shilka was known to the Mongols as Hara Muren or Amur.return to text

    59. “Elhe taifin i orin ningguci aniya, hiya unda, mabudai jargūci, dahū nibcoo hoton de genere jugūn sara niyalma bio seme cecen han i geren de fonjiha de amba ajige gemu sarkū sehe. sirab gecul bi ere jugūn be sambi sere jakade, ambasa mimbe nibcoo i hoton de dosifi, hoton i amba ajige cooha i labtu komso be tuwa, jai amba cooha de muke orho tuwa seme unggihe. sirab bi nadan kutule be gaifi inenggi dobori akū geneme, nibcoo i hoton de isinaha manggi, oros i iban noyan, mimbe sunja inenggi horifi, amasi sindafi unggihe. sirab bi ineku aniya, omšon biyai orin sunjade ging hecen de isinjifi hiya ananda de muke ongko jugūn yabuci ombi seme alafi, hiya ananda wesimbuhe. hese sirab yabuha ba sain seme gecuheri sijihiyan, suje boso ilan šangnaha. geli orin jakūci aniya, dorgi amban, amba nakcu, sorson i ama, ashan i amban unda, amban cooha gaifi, nibcoo de generede, mimbe gajarci obufi muke ongko be tookabuha akū, nibcoo de isibuha. dorgi amban, amba nakcu, sorson i ama, ashan i amban unda, mimbe amba baita be mutebuhe seme ejehe babi. geli kalkai jinong ni harangga niyalma, oros de ubašafi dosika, emu minggan jakūn tanggū haha nibcoo hoton i canaga ergi guwanggu gebungge bade tembi sehede, sirab bi dorgi amban, amba nakcu, sorgiya i ama, ashan i amban de ere ubašaha niyalma be argai gisurefi dahabuki sehede, amban urušehe. sirab bi ubašaha niyalma i jakade genefi, enduringge ejen i ujire kesi amba kai. suwe ai turgunde oros i niyalma ombi seme basare akū baita be hafumbume alaha de, geren niyalma ulhifi, mini alaha gisun be gemu inu seme mimbe dahame jihe. hara muren be toome bisirede, oros i cooha gaifi amcame jihe de, sirab bi barhū i cooha be gaifi afafi oros be gidaha. erebe ilan amban gemu sambi.” (HJYD: 1-1696: 363–70.)return to text

    60. HJYD: 1-1696: 363–70.return to text

    61. Dumdadu ulus-un teüke-yin nigedüger arkiv and Öbür mongγol-un yeke surγaγuli-yin mongγol sudulul-un degedü surγaγuli, ed., Dayičing gürün-ü dotuγadu yamun-u mongγol bičig-ün ger-ün dangsa: Yisüdüger boti (Köke qota: Öbür mongγol-un arad-un keblel-ün qoriy-a, 2005), 352–56.return to text

    62. Materialy po istorii russko-mongol’skih otnoshenii. Russko-mongol’skih otnosheniia, 1685–1691: sbornik dokumentov, 144; Russko-Kitaiskie otnosheniia, 279.return to text

    63. Dayičing ulus-un mongγol-un maγad qauli (Kökeqota: Öbür mongγol-un surγan kümüjil-ün qoriy-a, 2013), 1: 563.return to text

    64. RGADA 1142:1:56, 10–12.return to text

    65. Yanagisawa Akira, “Khuuchin Bargyn üüsel, khuv’sal,” Historia Mongolarum 9 (2012): 82–84.return to text

    66. HJYD 1-1692: 300–4.return to text

    67. Dopolneniia k aktam istoricheskim sobrannyia i izdannyia arkheograficheskoiu kommissieiu, (Sanktpeterburg: Tipografija Eduarda Pratsa, 1867), 10: 289.return to text