Savga: The Share of the Crimean Khans from the Plunder and its Historical Origins
Ege Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Tarih Bölümü, İzmir/TÜRKİYE
Keywords: Savga, Plunder, Booty, Conferment, Crimean Khanate.
There are some suggestions on the origins and nature of the word savga occurring in numerous historical sources in various languages from the 12th century on, but there is still no peculiar and comprehensive study attributed to that concept. This word was used in the Turkic and Mongolian states to denote gathering and sharing the booty, and rewarding the soldiers, officials and members of the dynasty by the khan, and gained popularity in the course of time, so that it was not translated into other languages, but was loaned directly. Savga means gratuity according to the dictionaries, but we try to find out its historical context in this paper, which is composed of four parts. Firstly, the oldest sources mentioning that word will be examined and its older meanings will be given. Secondly, we will discuss the meanings explained by philology scholars on the basis of etymological dictionaries by pointing to the concerning studies. Thirdly, there is a chronological investigation of the sharing of plunder and booty in the steppe peoples, through which we aim at putting a light upon the historical background of the phenomenon of conferment, which concerns closely the state mechanism and the military and social order. The last part of the paper deals with the use of the word savga in the sources of the Golden Horde and especially the Crimean Khanate. We will also cite the concerning records of the famous traveler Evliya Çelebi, who travelled along Eastern Europe.