Toponym Hayzān/Khayzān and one related reference to it by Ibn Rustah for the history of Hereti


In the medieval Arabic geographical or historical literature, references to the Caucasus region are quite common, which is of different nature. The information contained in them is multifaceted and diverse, which is not limited to political history or description of the geographical environment. Distinguished in this respect is the Arabic geographical literature, the authors of which not only wrote works of a geographical content but also sometimes traveled themselves, and they shared their first-hand experience. Nevertheless, the information around the Caucasus region is not extensive compared to the description of the Arab-Islamic world itself, and there are frequent compilations and/or even transcription errors.[1] Often references can be limited to one sentence or even several words. However, by combining the references of different authors and using different sources, it is possible to reconstruct historical facts/events and make appropriate assumptions or conclusions.

The name Hayzān/Khayzān in this form is found only in medieval Arabic sources from the 9th century and is considered as an Arabic toponym [Гейбуллаев, 1986:9]. Given the specifics of the orthography of the Arabic script, we first want to discuss the variants of this toponym that are found with various medieval authors and maybe implied as Hayzān. Without the diacritical marks and vowels, Hayzān looks like this: حىران at the same time the name Hayzān/Khayzān  can be read in different forms such as Hayrān (حيران), Khayrān (خيران) even Khazarān (خزران). Also, given the similarity of this word with the name Khazar, it is self-evident that the name Hayzān/Khayzān can be associated with the Khazar and the Khazars. Herewith, this opinion is reinforced by another form of naming, which resembles Hayzān/Khayzān and it is Khazarān (خزران) and which we can also read as Jurzān (جرزان)[2] and it is this kind of reading that supports O. Tskitishvili while commenting on one specific section of Zakariya Al-Qazwini's reference [ზაქარია, 1975:107-108]. In the Khazar mentioned in Zakariya Al-Qazwini note, O. Tskitishvili considers Jurzān as the Mtkvari river reportedly flows from the Khazarān [ზაქარია, 1975:34]. Here O. Tskitishvili uses the graphic spelling of the word, in which case by changing the diacritical marks we can get both Khazarān and Jurzān. We consider the Khazarān mentioned with Abu al-Fida to have the same meaning: The second part [of Armenia] includes Khazarān, Tiflis and Bāb al-Lān ... Khazarān is mentioned for the second time there: Tiflis and that is Khazarān And he named Yaqut al-Hamawi as the source of this reference [Abu al-fida, 1840:387].[3] It is obvious that in those cases Khazarān means Jurzān and again we are dealing with a confusion of diacritical marks.

In addition, Abu al-Fida mentioned Khazarān elsewhere: Said there is Balanjar in al-Bāb, the city of Darband Khazarān, and it is inside Bāb al-Abwāb, it is attributed to Balanjar b. Japhet. It is said in al-kitāb al-'atwal that Balanjar is al-Khazars city which calls Itil and I think it is correct because it is on the river Itil… [Abu al-fida, 1840:219]. We find the form of Darband Khazrān in another place, where it is said that Al-Lakz is the city of Darband Khazarān [Abu al-fida, 1840:391]. In this case, the mention of Darband Khazarān should mean that the speech was about Khazar Gate, Caspian Gate, Derbent, and in this case, Khazarān should be understood directly as Khazar, while under the name Darband Khazarān it should have a meaning of Derbent and its environs as the name of the region. At the same time, we can find a connection with the map given by the eleventh-century author Mahmud al-Kashgari given in the book Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk (see map), which demonstrates the areas inhabited by Turkic-speaking people. This is the map where Darband Khazarān was marked on the southwest of the Caspian Sea. It should be noted that the separate Khazars are not mentioned anywhere on the map. In this case, too, we have to think of Khazars under the name Khazarān. To strengthen the opinion we can also cite the reference by Sadiq Isfahani: Khazar: the name of a son of Noah on whom be the peace of God! And this name has been given to the Dasht-i-Khazar, a region of the sixth climate on the north of the sea of Khazar, that is, the sea of Gilān (or the Caspian); and this region also called Khazarān and Dasht-i-Kibchāk [4]  and it compreses Serāi, Balenjer, Burtās and other towns. [Isfahani, 1832:23]. If we combine these two sources, it is obvious that Khazars are meant by Khazarān. Different places were indeed meant in terms of territory and localization (Derbent and the north of the Caspian Sea), however, in both cases, we are dealing with Khazars. In this very spot, we add another reference from Hudud al-alam where we have the following: Khazars Derbent is a city by the sea [ისთახრი, 1937:16]. This source directly mentions the Khazars Derbent which is in line with other sources already discussed.

Several assumptions about the location or identification of Hayzān were made in the 1950s. There are three versions offered by V. Minorsky about Hayzān. The first: He assimilated Hayzān, Khaydān and Khaydak and thus he located Khaydak in the North Caucasus near Derbent [Minorsky, 1953:525]. In the South Caucasus under the name Hayzān he considered Khiz [Minorsky, 1953:525], which opinion is based on Ibn Khordadbeh's statement: and in Arminia[5]. there is also Khoy, as-Sanariya, Albak, Qisal, Abkhāz, al-Jardmān castle, Khayzān, Shaqqi and the town al-Bāb [Ibn Khordadbeh, 1889:123]. Ibidem: And in the story of Musa, peace be upon him:  See, when we found a shelter under a rock, I forgot that the cete is alive. The rock is the rock of Sharwān, and the sea is the sea of Jilān (Gilan), and the village is the village of Bajarwān. When I met Ghulam, I killed him in the village of Khayzān [Ibn Khordadbeh, 1889:124]. In this case, the main identifier named at the source is the "Rock of Moses", which is located near the modern Khizi[6]. V. Minorsky also connected Hayzān to Handan, which was considered south of the Khachen by the Aras river [Minorsky, 1953:525][7]. He does not cite the source of the latter, although we assume that this view must be based on al-Istakhri's account, which mentions the Hajirān near the Aras river: The borders of ar-Rān are from Bābu-l-abwāb to Tiflis and close to the river Aras, to the place known as Hajirān“[8] [Al-Istakhri, 1927:190]. The same can be said about the reference by Ibn Hawqal, as the geographical description of its proximity to the Aras river was repeated there: From Warthān, Barda, Bābu-l-abwāb, and the island in the Khazar Sea, dayer's madder is exported, by the Khazar Sea in Jurjān[9], and from there to India by land. This dayer's madder is all over ar-Rān till the borders of Bābu-l-abwāb, till Tafisil and near the Aras river and Nahya Khazarān[10], which is the kingdom in the hands of the owner Azarbaijan, which is in the mountains [Ibn Hawqal, 1992:298]. However, the same information became the reason for the difference of opinions, as in the book published earlier by de Goeje we have not Khazarān, but Jurzān [Ibn Hawqal, 1873:249]. Almost the same opinions about Hayzān were listed by Geibulayev, in the book "Toponyms of Azerbaijan" (Топонимия Азербайджана) [Гейбуллаев, 1986: 135].

Al-Baladhuri is one of the first authors who had mentioned Khayzān/Hayzān at least four times. For the first time, when Salman ibn Rabiah gave the Sulh (treaty) of Khayzān's people with Gabala and Shaqqi, after that Salman fought to Khagan beyond al-Balanjar river. In the comment, the editor notes that in "Alif" manuscript it has Hayrān (حيران) form [Al-Baladhuri, 1987:286]. Therefore, we can easily assume that the speech is about a place that was close to Gabala and Shaqqi so this place was located in the South Caucasus. Here we can recall the reference of Ibn Khordadbeh mentioned above, in which Hayzān was listed with Ibn Qandimān castle and Shaqqi. The second time, it was stated when Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman al-'abbas sent his subordinates to the areas between Kalikala (Erzerum) and Khayzān [Al-Baladhuri, 1987:287]. According to this report, it turns out that the two extreme points controlled by the Arabs at that time were named, Erzerum in the southwest and Hayzān 'in the northeast. The third time is about Rustak Khayzān, where al-Jarrah ibn Abdallah al-Hakami allocated two villages to the inhabitants of the defeated Hamzin (people) [Al-Baladhuri, 1987:289]. Here the talk is about the famous Arab commander - al-Jarrah and his expeditions, which were in the twenties of the 8th century. And the last one: reconcile Maslama the people of Khayazān, and by his order his (Khayazān) fortress was demolished, and he declared it his property. Today it is known as Hawz Khayzān [Al-Baladhuri, 1987:291]. According to al-Baladhuri, Hayzān was the name of a city, a province (Rustak), and a fortress at the same time. In the first two cases, this is the earliest stage of the Arab conquests in the Caucasus, which does not go beyond the fifties of the 7th century (Hudhayfah died in 656). We also think that the Maslama mentioned by al-Baladhuri must be Maslama b. Abd al-Malik, brother of Caliph Hisham b. Abd al-Malik, who replaced Jarrah in the Caucasus region [საქართველოს... ტ.2, 1973:289].

Yaqut al-Hamawi gave both forms Hayzān and Khayzān. In the case of Hayzān, we must assume that the talk is about the same place that al-Baladhuri first names (see above): Hayzān_ Nasri says that Hayzān Ha with Fatha is one of the cities of Armenia near Sharwan. The latitude of Hayzān is 72 degrees and a quarter. Longitude 34 degrees. It was conquered by Salman ibn Rabiah. [yაკუთი, 1964:46]. Salman ibn Rabiah mentioned by al-Baladhuri and Yaqut al-Hamawi are the same person. Thus, in both cases, the talk must be about the same location.

From the references of Arab-Muslim authors about Hayzān, we would like to mention ibn Rustah's reference, which has not been given proper attention so far. The "Book of Precious Records" contains some interesting information about the history of Hereti, which, unfortunately, historians have overlooked.[11] Specifically, in the chapter As-Sarir we read: The road to the right of the castle that leads out of it goes between the high mountains and the forest, this road goes to 12 stops (Manzil) which goes to the city called Hayzān [12] And it has a king, whose name is Adharnars [13] who professes three religions, when it is Friday, prays with Muslims; If it is Saturday, prays with the Jews; And on Sunday _ with Christians. Everyone who comes to him argues that ,,Those who are followers of this religion, the truth is in their hands, and that others are lying, and I am a follower of all, so I am follower of all true religions.'' There are ten farsangs from their city to the city called Ranhas [Ibn Rosteh, 1892:147].

Herein it is interesting to speak of  Adranase, who was the king of Hayzān and prayed with Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Ibn Miskawayh repeats this reference almost identically, with the exception that it does not mention King Adarnese and the story of praying addressed to people of Hayzān [Minorsky, 1953:525 ]. Regarding the king Adarnase mentioned in the text, we think that the talk should be about Adarnase I, the ruler of Hereti, the son of Sahl ibn Sunbat. They marched together against Mihranids and slaughtered them [Буниятов, 1965:184-85]. It was not clear until now who ruled Hereti after Sahl ibn Sunbat, who was captured by Bugha al-Turki in 853 and sent to the Caliphate. There was only a supposition about Adranase as the new ruler. However, according to Ibn Rustah, he is directly referred to not as the principal, but as the king. Respectively, this information completes another interesting section of the history of Hereti, about which until now there was only a suspicion. At the same time, we exclude that the mentioned Adarnase is Adarnase II, already the king of Hereti, who ruled Hereti after Grigol Hamam. There are several reasons for this. First of all, 903 is considered to be the main date for the compiling of the work [Крачковский, 1957:159-160], while Adranase II  become king from 915 AD. It is true that there is an opinion that Ibn Rustah died later and 913 is considered to be the date of compiling his work [Крачковский, 1957:159-160]. In this case, we should mention another reference of Ibn Rustah which can be found in the same chapter of as-Sarir and in which the king of as-Sarir Avar (Avaz) is mentioned: and their (as-Sarir) ruler is Avar… [Ibn Rosteh, 1892:147] it is this reference that follows the reference to Adranase. As far as we know, Avar was the ruler of as-Sarir in the second half of the 9th century. Thus, the above reference does not go beyond the 9th century. The mention of Adranase I as a king may make some correction in the title of the rulers of the kingdom of Hereti, as long as  Adarnase according to Ibn Rustah is the king of Hereti. Respectively, this account precedes the account of Movses Kaghankatvatsi, according to which Grigol Hamam received the title of King of Hereti in 893. If we consider Adranase mentioned by Ibn Rustah as the ruler of Hereti, then the following question arises- where was Hayzān/ Hayrān located, whose king was Adranase? It is obvious, in this case, we can neither equate the Khazar nor the Khiz, as the borders of the Kingdom of Hereti never extended to this areas. T. Papuashvili, based on a comparison of different historical sources, concluded the following: Hereti included: part of outer Kakheti,  Kiziq'i, a large part of inner Kakheti, Thither Area, Saingilo, and north-western Azerbaijan (former Shaki district or Nukhi Mazra) [პაპუაშვილი, 1970:101]. In this case, we want to make cautious assumptions around the identification of Hayzān. First of all, we have to go back again and again to Arabic orthography and the possible interpretation of the word as Hayrān (حيران). All the more, we have a similar case with Al-Baladhuri in one of the manuscripts.[14] In turn, Hayrān bears a resemblance to the name Hereti.[15] Here we must recall one of the references to al-Baladhuri, in which Hayzān is the name of that region. Also noteworthy is the name Khoranta mentioned by Leonti Mroveli: And gave Heros the land north of the Mtkuari [Kura], from the confluence of the Little Alazani to the Tq'etba, which is now called Gulgula. And this Heros built the first city among the congregations of both Alazani rivers and named it after his name Hereti. And from it is called Hereti as Hereti. And here this place is called Khoranta [ქართლის, 1955:5]. According to Leonti Mroveli, Khoranta and Hereti are one and the same. As for its Arabic writing, Hayzān can be freely identified as Khoranta: Khorān>Khayrān>Hayrān>Hayzān ( خيران>حيران>حيزان). According to D. Muskhelishvili, Khoranta is located under the Mingechaur Reservoir at the confluence of the Iori and Alazani rivers [ქსე . 11, 1987:498].

There is another interesting detail about Hayzān. In medieval Arabic historical sources, especially in the literature of a geographical nature, with the description of the region/province, as a rule, there are given routes, in which cities/places are named and distances between them. This information may be given directly in the description of a particular place/point or at the end of a chapter/work in the form of a list. On the occasion of Hayzān, it is only mentioned in fragments in the sources and, at the same time, this place is not found on the way to any of the famous and important cities. This type of information is only given by ibn Rustah reference that is given above, and which also is insufficient. It can be said, that this factor excludes the issue of similarity with any of the well-known places to Hayzān (e.g Derbent). On one hand, the reason for this may be the relationship between Hereti and the Arab-Islamic Caliphate. Before the expedition of Bugha al-Turki, Sahl ibn Sunbat had a good deal with the Caliphate, to whose permission he conquered the rest of Albania, the right bank of the river Kura [საქართველოს... .2, 1973:409]. Unlike other Georgian kingdoms, Hereti almost did not fight against Arabs and pursued a relatively peaceful policy [საქართველოს... .2, 1973:412]. Even in the 10th century, Hereti did not fight against Arabs but also used their expeditions for further strengthening. For example, during the campaign of Abu al-Qasim, we know that he raided Kakheti, Kartli, and Samtskhe, although there is no mention of Hereti or any of the settlements in Hereti. On the contrary, as Vakhushti wrote, the rulers of Hereti used Abu al-Qasim's march to their advantage: At that time, came Saracens of Sajid and captured Kakheti and the Sajids stole the Wounded Cross. But when Adarnase son of Padli the husband of Queen Dinar saw that, he reconquered what was taken of Hereti by Kvirike and Constantine and called himself as a king once more [ვახუშტი, 1913:149-150]. It is clear from this information that Hereti was not affected by Abu al-Qasim's expedition and, on the contrary, used it while Kakheti and Kartli were weakened. Adranase regained the lost territories and even the title. The same can be said of John Senekerim, king of Hereti in the second half of the 10th century. Ibn Hawqal noted: And Sanaharib, known as Ibn Savarat, the owner of Ar-Rb[16], agreed to 300,000 dirhams and gifts. It continuous: and proved to Sanaharib the owner of the Khajin[17] 100,000 dirhams and horses and gifts of 50,000 dirhams… [Ibn Hawqal, 1992:303]. On this occasion, too, the king of Hereti maintains a vassal relationship. Hayzān as a kingdom was named by ibn Hawqal in the reference above, and it is a kingdom subordinate to the ruler of Azerbaijan [Ibn Hawqal, 1992:298]. It is true that Ibn Hawqal's reference dates back to the tenth century and refers to the Sallarid dynasty among the rulers of Azerbaijan, however, it is important for us that Hayzān was mentioned as a separate kingdom, to which existence should not be ruled out at the end of the 9th century. There is also another reference of al-Istakhri, in which Kurji (i.e. Jurzān or "Georgia"), Khazar, Bāb al-Abwāb  (Derbent), and Khayzān are mentioned together which excludes issues of their identity or spelling: It [Bāb al-Abwāb] is a port of the mentioned sea, gathering in it from al-Khazars, as-Sarirs, Shanzāns, Khayzān, Kurji, Rukhlān, Zirikrān, and Ghumiq ... [Al-Istakhri, 1927 :186].[18]

To summarize the information related to Hayzān/Khayzān, in Arabic sources, they are mentioned with different meanings and it is also possible that they can have different meanings even with the same author.[19] However, we do share opinions of V. Minorsky on the similarity of Hayzān/Khayzān as Khizi, as well as the possible use of Hayzān/Khayzān as Jurzān. In addition, we express the opinion that in some cases the mentioned toponym corresponds to Khazar in its meaning and is related to Derbent. Also, based on Ibn Rustah and other authors, we suggest that in the toponym Hayzān/Khayzān we can mean Hereti and the kingdom of Hereti, possibly even Khoranta. We do not exclude the possibility of further disclosure of new information or sources regarding Hayzān/Khayzān which will eventually shed light on its location.

[1] E.g. Ibn Rustah's specific reference, which we will discuss below, has been adapted with some changes by Ibn Miskawayh.

[2] We also would like to mark here that in the medieval Arabic geographical or historiographical works it is not uncommon to mix Khazar and Jurzān (i.e. Georgia).

[3] In the references to Tbilisi by Yaqut al-Hamawi, we have Jurzān [იაკუთი, 1964: 38-41].

[4] I.E. Kipchak Valley.

[5] This Refers to the province of Arminia which actually included Armenia, ar-Ran and Azerbaijan.

[6] It is true that V. Minorsky equated Hayzan and Khiz, although in the same paper page 511, on the map he shows Al-Khair(z)ān in Arabic and with a question mark in the Artsakh region, south of Shusha in the vicinity of the river Aras. Thus, he suggested the existence of more than one Hayzān at a time.

[7] Z. Bunyadov seems to be identified Khachen and Khayzān when he lists the cities in the mountainous region of Artsakh that were conquered by the Arabs [Буниятов, 1965: 82].

[8] بحجران The possible variant in the comment also mentions the Nakhchivan form: نخجوان where in the beginning (بِ) is a particle with the meaning "as" in this case. However, it also allows for interpretation, as the word will be without diacritical marks ىححران from which the word "nakhjivan" (Nakhchivan) is easily derive نخجوان .

[9] Gorgan/Gurgan.

[10] In such a form it is found in the edition edited by Kramers خزران الى نواحي (Khazarān) (p. 298) or maybe again and again it means "Jurzān" and not Khazarān.

[11] If we do not take into account the almost identical reference of ibn Miskawayh, in which king Adarnase is not mentioned at all, and which reference was mentioned by Kramers.

[12] حَيْزان

[13] اذرنرسى

[14] See above.

[15] T. Papuashvili also notes that in Georgian literature of the ninth and tenth centuries, the name Hereti refers to the whole of Albania (right and left banks of the Kura). As he himself points out, this opinion was also quoted by I. Abuladze and D. Muskhelishvili, but not explained with facts of the political history of Hereti [პაპუაშვილი, 1970:194].

[16] ar-rab' (الربع) to the side, de Goeje indicates the question mark in parentheses. [Ibn Haukail, 1873: 252, line 14]. It seems that this place was not completely certain and neither this territory/domain can be identified. (the same form was given by Kramers). However, if we read it as ar-rub' then it can have several meanings: quarter; territory; customs house [Miorsky, 1953: 522].

[17] خاجين.

[18] In the Persian version, we have the following: this city (Derbent) is a port for Khazars and Serirs, for Gurgan, Tabaristan, Georgians, and Q'aiq'at [ისთახრი, 1937:3].

[19] The toponym with the forms of Hayzān/Khayzān/Hayrān was mentioned with other authors, although they have no connection with the geographical point of the same name in the Caucasus region. For example, by al-Masudi, in the chapter: Reference of King Atabeg after Diyar Bakir: And this year Atabeg Zengi marched on Diar Bakr and conquered a number of cities and fortresses there, among these cities being the city of Tanza, As’ard, the city of Hayzān [Macoudi, 1877:329]. About the same Hayzān should be mentioned by Abu al-Fida, whose coordinates he gives us from the Seventh Military Climate, which is al-Jazera (I.e. Upper Mesopotamia) between the Tigris and the Euphrates in Diar Bakir [Abu al-Fida, 1840: 282]. In the given names we must assume the city of Harran, which was located in the north of Mesopotamia (Al-Jazera) and was considered either part of Diar Bakir or Mesopotamia. Al-Idris also refers to the toponym Hayzān, although in this case the place mentioned by this name was located in Yemen, near the city of Sana [Al-Idrisi, 2002:55].




საქართველოს ცხოვრება 1469-1800_მდე, თბილისი
ზაქარია ალ-კაზვინის ცნობები საქართველოსა და კავკასიის შესახებ, თბილისი
yაკუთის ცნობები საქართველოსა და კავკასიის შესახებ, თბილისი
ისთახრი_ჰუდუდ ალ-ალემი_ჰამდალლაჰ ყაზვინი, თბილისი
პაპუაშვილი თ.
ჰერეთის ისტორიის საკითხები, თბილისი
საქართველოს ისტორიის ნარკვევები ტ.2 , თბილისი
ქართლის ცხოვრება, ტ. I, თბილისი
ქართული საბჭოთა ენციკლიპედია, ტ. 11, თბილისი
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Abu Ishak al-Faris al-Istakhri, Leiden
Ibn Hawqal
Surat al-‘ard, Beirut
Ibn Hawqal
Abu’l-Kasim Ibn Haukal, Leiden
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Kitab Al-Masalik Wa’L-Mamalik, Leiden
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Азербайджан в VII-IX ВВ., Баку
Гейбуллаев Г.А
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Избранные Сочинения Том IV, Москва-Ленинград