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Baghatur (Mongolian: ᠪᠠᠭᠠᠲᠦᠷ Baγatur, Khalkha Mongolian: Баатар Bātar; Turkish: Bağatur, Batur, Bahadır; Russian: Bogatyr; Bulgarian: Багатур Bagatur; Persian: بهادر‎) is a historical Turco-Mongol honorific title,[1] in origin a term for "hero" or "valiant warrior". The Papal envoy Plano Carpini compared the title with the equivalent of European Knighthood.[2]

The etymology of this word is uncertain, although the first syllable is very likely the Iranian title word *bag "god, lord".[3] The term was first used by the steppe peoples to the north and west (Mongolia) of China as early as the 7th century as evidenced in Sui dynasty records.[4][5] It is attested for the Göktürk Khanate in the 8th century, and among the Bulgars of the First Bulgarian Empire in the 9th century.

The word was common among the Mongols and became especially widespread, as an honorific title, in Genghis Khan's Mongol Empire in the 13th century; the title persisted in its successor-states, and later came to be adopted also as a regnal title in the Ilkhanate, in Timurid dynasties etc.

The word was also introduced into many non-Turkic languages as a result of the Turco-Mongol conquests, and now exists in different forms such as Bulgarian: Багатур (Bagatur), Russian: Богатырь (Bogatyr), Polish Bohater (meaning "hero"), Hungarian: Bátor (meaning "brave"), Persian Bahador, Georgian Bagatur, and Hindi Bahadur.

It is also preserved in the modern Turkic and Mongol languages as Turkish Batur/Bahadır, Tatar and Kazakh Батыр (Batyr), Uzbek Batyr and Mongolian Baatar (as in Ulaanbaatar).

The concept of the Baghatur has its roots in Turco-Mongolian folklore. Like the Bogatyrs of Russian myth, Baghaturs were heroes of extraordinary courage, fearlessness, and decisiveness, often portrayed as being descended from heaven and capable of performing extraordinary deeds. Baghatur was the heroic ideal Turco-Mongolian warriors strove to live up to, hence its use as a military honorific of glory.

List of individuals with this title

The term Baghatur and its variants – Bahadur, Bagatur, or Baghadur, was adopted by the following historical individuals:

See also


  1. ^ Ed. Herbert Franke and others - The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 710-1368, p.567
  2. ^ James Chambers The Devil's horsemen: the Mongol invasion of Europe, p.107
  3. ^ Beckwith 2009, p. 387
  4. ^ C. Fleischer, "Bahādor", in Encyclopædia Iranica
  5. ^ Grousset 194.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Ed. Herbert Franke and others - The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 710-1368, p.568


  • Beckwith, Christopher I. (16 March 2009). Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691135894. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  • Brook, Kevin Alan. The Jews of Khazaria. 2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2006.
  • Grousset, R. The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia. Rutgers Univ. Press, 1988.
  • Saunders, J. The History of the Mongol Conquests. Univ. of Penn. Press, 2001.
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