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Regular version of the site

Article

The Evolution of Soyurghal in Chinggisid and Non-Chinggisid States during the Post-Imperial Period

Золотоордынское обозрение. 2018. Vol. 6. No. 4. P. 729-740.

Research objectives: An analysis of the evolution of the land-law institution of soyurghal which was applied during the 15th–19th centuries in the Chinggisid and non-Chinggisid states that arose after the disintegration of the Mongol Empire and its uluses. This work is an attempt to clarify the reasons behind the preservation of this imperial legal
institution during the post-imperial period, along with the points of commonality and differences which emerged during its evolution in the different states and regions of Asia. 
Research materials: This research is based on wide range of historical and legal sources with information on soyurghal and its evolution. There are yarliks (or firmans) of monarchs (patents and letters), historical chronicles, along with treatises on the political and administrative structure of post-imperial states. The author analyses the documents of the Kazan, Crimean, Bukharan, and Khivan khanates, as well as Kashgharia, the states of Aq-
Koyunlu and Qara-Kouynlu, Savafid Iran, and Mogul India. This research is also based on results of scholars who have already discussed soyurghal of the imperial and post-imperial period: M. Abduraimov, K.A. Antonova, A.M. Belenitskiy, P.P. Ivanov, A.K.S. Lambton, V.F. Minorskiy, Sh.F. Mukhamed’yarov, I.P. Petrushevskiy, M.A. Usmanov, etc.
The novelty of the study: The presented article is the first attempt to compare the evolution of institution of soyurghal based on a wide range of sources from different states and epochs to clarify basic trends of this evolution and find the reasons for using different categories of soyurghal in different states to a greater or lesser extent. 
Research results: The author finds that during the 15th–19th centuries the institution of soyurghal had three meanings: land investiture for vassals (state and military officers), land investiture for state officers and clergy, and lastly a grant from the monarch to his subject in general. These different kinds of soyurghal were used in all states which were analyzed in the article. The conclusion is that this land-law institution was used in fact throughout the
whole area of the former Mongol Empire and that this imperial legal tradition was preserved during the period after the disintegration of the empire itself.