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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a nomadic tribe of Turkic origin mentioned in Russian chronicles from 1097 to the end of the 12th century. The Berendei apparently separated from the tribal association of the Oghuz. By the second half of the 11th century the Berendei and the related Torks and Pechenegs were established in the southern Russian steppes near the Kiev and Pereiaslav’ principalities, especially in the region of the Ros’ River. A tribal association called the “black hoods” (including the Berendei, Torks, Pechenegs, and others) was formed about 1146 and became a vassal of Russia. Feudal relations began to develop among the Berendei in the 12th century; princes and noblemen appeared. There were cities. The Kiev princes used the Berendei cavalry in defending Russia against the Polovtsi and in internecine wars among the princes. Following the Mongol-Tatar invasion of Russia early in the 13th century, some of the Berendei fled to Bulgaria and Hungary while the others merged with the people of the Golden Horde.


Kudriashov, K. V. Polovetskaia step’. Moscow, 1948. Pages 134–36.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.