Bilge Khagan

Bilge Khagan
Old Turkic:
Chinese: 阿史那 默棘連
Khagan of the Turkic Khaganate
Reign February 717 – 25 November 734
Predecessor Inel Khagan
Successor Yollıg Khagan
Born 683
Died 25 November 734
Spouse Po Beg
Issue Yollıg Tigin
Tengri Tigin
Ta-lo Khatun
House House of Ashina
Father Ilterish Khagan
Mother Ilbilge Khatun
Religion Tengrism
The Bilge Khagan monument with inscriptions, Mongolia

Bilge Khagan (Old Turkic: , Bilge qaγan)[1] (683 – 25 November 734) was the khagan of the Second Turkic Khaganate. His accomplishments were described in the Orkhon inscriptions.


As was the custom, his personal name and the name after assuming the title Khagan were different. His personal name was : 阿史那默棘連, Ashǐnà mòjílián, a-shih-na mo-chi-lan) . His name after assuming the title was Bilge Khagan (or Bilge Qhagan). (Old Turkic: 𐰋𐰃𐰠𐰏𐰀 𐰴𐰍𐰣, Bilge qaγan,[1] , Pinyin: píjiā kěhàn, Wade–Giles: p'i-chia k'o-han, official title: 𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃𐱅𐰏 𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃𐰓𐰀 𐰉𐰆𐰞𐰢𐱁 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰜 𐰋𐰃𐰠𐰏𐰀 𐰴𐰍𐰣, Teŋіriteg Тeŋiride bolmuš Türük Bilge qaγan,[2] His wife was Po Beg, Tonyukuk's daughter. "Bilge" meaning "wise" or "one who has wisdom" in Turkic languages. Khagan (Kağan) is a title for ruler (like king, earl, etc.).

As a khagan

In 716, Kapaghan Khagan the second khaghan of the khaganate was killed in his campaign against Toquz Oghuz and his severed head was sent to Chang'an.[3] Although his son Inel Qaghan succeeded him, the legal claimant of the throne was his cousin Ashǐnà mòjílián. Mojilan's brother Kul Tigin and Tonyukuk carried out a coup d'état against Inel Qaghan. They killed Inel Qaghan and made Mojilan a khagan with the name Bilge Qaghan.[3] His name literally means "wise king".

Bilge's khaganate spanned vast steppes from the Caspian Sea to Manchuria; he also invaded the western sections of the Chinese territories. After his death from poisoning, several stelae were erected in the capital area by the Orkhon River. These Orkhon inscriptions are the first known texts in the Old Turkic language. He was poisoned by Buyruk Chor[4] (梅錄啜/梅录啜, méilù chuò, mei-lu-ch'o). He didn't die immediately and he had time to punish the family of Buyruk Chor with death.[3]



Encyclopædia Britannica, Micropaedia, Vol. II, pp. 16–17


External links

Bilge Khagan
Preceded by
Inel Khagan
Khagan of the Second Eastern Turkic Khaganate
Succeeded by
Yollıg Khagan
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