Uploaded on Jun 14, 2011
The Caucasian Albanians (also spelled as Alban, Aghvan, Aghban, and Alpan) were a nation, which, according to the ancient geographer Strabo, consisted of 26 tribes, ethnic groups, such as Albans themselves, as well as Gargars, Udis, etc. Some of them were of Turkic descent, while majority were indigenous authohontous Caucasian tribes, speaking in Caucasian languages.
The Artsakh area was also inhabited by Saks from which the name "Artsakh" means "Land of manly Sak's." They lived in the region already in IV century B.C. In many scholarly sources both ancient people were referred to as Ishguz's. The Massagetai, who lived all around Caspian Sea, had previously formed their kingdom in South Azerbaijan (Iranian Azerbaijan), around lake Urmiyeh, and ancient Greek historian Herodotus makes a reference to their ruler, Queen Tomris, who personally led her troops against Cyrus II the Great of Persia and killed him in 529 BC. It should be noted that Tomris is a Turkic name, in fact, the name of the she-wolf who according to the myth saved ancient Turks from annihilation.
In addition, Herodotus in his "History" when describing the right side of Araxes river (Media/Iran) mentiones Abars (who eventually became Avars) and Bashigirhihi (today's Bashkirs). This proves that there were Turkic people in South Azerbaijan as well, albeit probably Iranian-speaking.
Various Turkic tribes have been inhabiting the area in and around the Caucasus. In fact as early as III century B.C. large influx of Salars, who were of Turkic Oghuz stock, occured. In fact, it is those Salars who called the land as Arran, which was later adopted by Muslim (Arab) historians, who described the area as 'ar-Ran.'
Meanwhile, the well-known German-born (d. 1930) Soviet scientist, historian and scholar, V.V.Bartol'd also mentions the tribe of Chols, who too were of Oghuz stock, and lived in Caucasian Albania in B.C. era.
In addition there were Khazars, Barsiles, Huns, Saragurs, Sabirs, Kuturgurs, Kok-Turks, Kipchaks (todays Kumyk, Nogay, Karachay, and Balkar) -- those are all pre-Xth century A.D. Turkic tribes, stretching to I-II centuries A.D.
Today, many direct descendants of the Albanians -- Gels, Legs, Kryzes, Hinalugs, Alpans and Udins -- live in Azerbaijan. But only the latter have kept their original religion and language. These are in addition to the Albanian tribes of Chols, Gargars and others, who have since merged into modern-day Azerbaijanis.
A little information from the Kitab-e Dede Qorgud epic, orally recited since at least the ninth-eleventh centuries. It mentions Alpan and Uruz, who were early Albanian kings (in B.C.) It also mentiones Gazan-khan, who is also mentioned in VII-century "History of Albania" by Moisey Kalankatuiski (Musa Kalankatly).
Caucasian Albania finally restored full independence in VII century under Jevanshir (Juansher), after he defeated the Iranian Sassanids. Iran has sent another army, this time the battle went on in the mountains. Sassanids were again defeated. By then, in mid-seventh century Arabs invaded, capturing Sassanid capital, Ctesiphon in 637 AD. In 640's Arabs invaded Caucasus, and Jevanshir actually came to ally himself with former enemies, Sassanids. However because weakened by their war with Azerbaijanis and Byzantium, Sasanian Iran quickly lost. Jevanshir returned back to Albania, preparing for war. Arabs invaded Albania, but it took them half-a-century to conquer Azerbaijanis (Albanians). They did so only by the beginning of eighth century, in 705 AD. Jevanshir was assassinated by treators. Nevertheless, his descendants, Albanian princes, who had the exclusive right to call themselves Arran-shah's, have been briefly restoring their kingdom's imperial authority several times in ninth and tenth centuries, shaking and eventually breaking Arab caliphate domination. Starting in the eighth century a large part of the population of Caucasian Albania was forcibly converted into Islam under the Arab caliphate.
After Islamization, Caucasian Albania combined with Atropatene because both had Turks, so they decided to be United. In 8th century, there was Whole Azerbaijan.
Whole Azerbaijan was broken in 18th century by Iran, Iranians took South Azerbaijan, then in 19th Georgians took Northwest Azerbaijan and armenians took Irevan Khanate. Armenians kept on taking land from Azerbaijanis, and it still continues today. Today, Azerbaijanis wants their lands back, and UN accepted the Karabakh as the integral part of Azerbaijan.
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