Berke


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Berke

 

Born 1209; died 1266. Khan of the Golden Horde in 1255–66; Jochi’s third son; Batu’s brother.

Under Berke the Golden Horde became virtually independent of the Mongol empire. Berke built Sarai-Berke on the Akhtuba (site of the fortified town of Tsarevskoe, near Volgograd), which became the new capital of the Golden Horde in the first half of the 14th century. Under Berke the Golden Horde conducted a population census in Russia in order to collect tribute (1257) and created the institution of baskaks (khan’s representatives and tax collectors) for collecting it. The actions of the baskaks caused more than one uprising (for instance, in 1259 in Novgorod and in 1262 in Rostov and Suzdal’). In the late 1250’s, Berke conducted a campaign against Lithuania. In 1262 he started a war with the Hulagu Mongols for the annexation of Azerbaijan to the Golden Horde. The beginning of the Islamization of the Golden Horde is connected with the name of Berke.

REFERENCES

Grekov, B. D., and A. Iu. Iakubovskii. Zolotaia Orda i ee padenie. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Al-Khuli, Amin. Sviazi mezhdu Nilom i Volgoi v Xlll-XlV vv. Moscow, 1962. (Translated from Arabic.)
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