The Earliest States of Eastern Europe
DG-2021, 530-535

Archon of Pechenegs ‘Kourkut’: His Name and Image in the Treatise De Administrando Imperio by Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus

A. S. Shchavelev

The article contains a reconstruction of the nominative form of the name of the Pechenegs’s archon Κουρκοῦτας. According to the treatise “De Administrando Imperio”, a man named Kourkout was one of the most significant leaders (archons) of the Pecheneg people in the Black Sea region. His group of Pechenegs was a part of the privileged community of the Kangars. He led a province called Gyla, which was located in the west of the land of the Pechenegs and adjacent to the land of the Magyars (Hungarians). It is possible that Kourkout bore the title “Gyla” (Turkic *yula), which means “judge” or “exegete”. It is likely that he was named in honor of the epic hero, who was the prototype of the legendary character of the Oghuz literary epic texts and Turkic folklore “grandfather / father Qorqut”.

Keywords:
Pechenegs, Oghuzes, Uzes, Turks, Kourkout, treatise “De Administrando Imperio”, onomastics
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