Osen, Khan of the Kumans

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Lithuanian: Osenis, Russian: Осени
Also Known As: "Osen of the Cumans", "Осеня", "Osen Kumans"
Birthplace: Russia
Death: 1082 (58-67)
Immediate Family:

Father of Aëpa II, Khan of the Kumans; Sharukan and Bonyak

Occupation: Khan of the Kumans
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Osen, Khan of the Kumans


While little is directly known about the life and exploits of Khan Osen, modern genealogical researchers are aware of his existence due to the marriage of his grand daughters to Kievan Rus' nobility. Unlike many of their western European counterparts, the Rus' scrupulously avoided marriages to individuals within the proscribed parameters of consanguinity. Russian academics Anna Litvina and Fjodor Uspenskij note "if the Russian princes themselves were relatively closely related, then it was necessary to emphasize that their Polovtsian wives were not related". Thus, the Rus' chronicles reference not only the father, but also the grandfather of the Cuman / Polovtsian brides. Litvina and Uspenskij cite "Polnoe Sobranie Russkikh Letopisei / Vol. 1 (The Complete Collection of Russian Chronicles) --

"In the same year and month, Vladimir (Monomach) and David and Oleg (Gorislavich) went to AEPA AND THE OTHER AEPA and concluded a peace, and Vladimir took as a bride for Yuri (Dolgoruki), AEPA'S DAUGHTER, OSEN'S GRAND DAUGHTER, and Oleg took as a bride for his son AEPA'S DAUGHTER, GIRGEN'S GRAND DAUGHTER."

Source -- "Russo - Polovtsian Dynastic Contacts As Reflected In Genealogy And Onomastics" / Anna Litvina & Fjodor Uspenskij


NEED VERIFICATION OF PLACE IN THIS LINEAGE as far as his being father of Sharukan. Seems from this person back is unverified as ancestors of Sharukan and his descendants. ?


And for the spring the father in Pereyaslavl above all brotherhood has planted me and went beyond Suloj. And on the way to Priluku to a city princes with 8 thousand have met us suddenly половецкие, and wanted was with them to battle, but the weapon has been sent forward on carts, and we have entered into a city; only семца one live have grasped yes смердов a little, and we половцев have more killed and have grasped, and half-sheep, without daring to descend from horses, have run to Sule in the same night. And next day, on the Assumption, we have gone to White Vezhe, God has helped us also the sacred Virgin: have interrupted 900 половцев and two princes took, Bagubarsovyh of brothers, Osenja and Sakzja, and only two husbands have escaped.


Appendix 1

Bela Vezha. With the aid of God and of the Holy (249) Virgin, our troops killed nine hundred Polovcians, and captured the two princes Asin’ and Sakz’, the brothers of Bagubars, and only two men of their force escaped. We then pursued the Polovcians to Svyatoslavl’, thence to Torchesk, and still further to Yur’ev. Then again, on the east bank of the Dnieper, we once more defeated the Polovcians near Krasno. In company with Rostislav, we subsequendy captured their camp at Varin. I then went to Vladimir and set up Yaropolk as prince, but he soon died. 14


The overwhelming majority of the Rus military encounters with Kumans was at repulsing their raids and pursuit of the returning Kuman units loaded with booty. Monomach participated in such "defensive" actions twelve times. In some cases, for example near Starodub or near Priluk, Kumans were crushed, their leaders captured (Khans Asaduk, Sauk, Begubars brothers - Osen and Sakz) or killed (Kitan and Itlar). 64

In other situations, Kumans simply were driven away from the border: Bonyak usually resorted to the tactics of lightning strike and likewise speedy retreat. For this reason it was never possible take him prisoner or to kill him in fight. That was during attacks of this Khan on the Ros and Sula area. Sometimes Vladimir deviated from the truth. So, Svyatopolk's war with Bonyak and Tugorkan in the 1093, which ended with a full defeat of the Rus army and involuntary marriage of prince Svyatopolk on the daughter of Tugorkan, is described very curtly: mentioned are the Kuman forts taken near Barin, and then mentioned conclusion of peace between Kumans and Svyatopolk.

Barin mentioned in the Slavic annals must be a Slavicized form of Baryn, a prominent Suvar clan. Twice Vladimir, despite of his policy aimed against Kumans, resorted to their help in a struggle against other Rus princes and instigated Kumans to raid the Rus land. So, he was guilty in instigating once a plunder of Chernihiv Principality, once he instigated a destruction, plunder and torching of the city Minsk (Men-Balik or Min-Balik at the time) by Kumans. Vladimir is modest enough, nowhere in his composition he stated that the organization of the campaigns deep into the Kuman steppe is his virtue and his initiative. In a few words he summarizes everything about three major steppe adventures which ended with "victory". He did not think it was worth to mention the smaller Rus campaigns, though the chronicler wrote that Monomach organized those campaigns. But he wrote about concluded peace treaties with pride: "Made with Kuman/Kipchak princes without one 20 peace treaties, both during my father time and after that, and gave them a lot of cattle and many porty (i.e. clothes, Türkic "руrtу" = rugs, used clothes). And only best Kumanian princes released from the shackles: two brothers of Sharukan, 3 (sons of) Bagubars (i.e. Barses' Beg + Prince of Barses, Barses = Barsils, from Türkic "bars" = lion + "il" = land), Osen (i.e. Azan/Asen/Azan (Asan), son of Ishim, head of the Kypchak horde) 4 brothers, and total their best princes 100" (PVL, I, p. 162). From this fragment follows that the peace with nomads was being bought, like a century ago, with various gifts. However due to active offensive policy persistently conducted by Monomach appeared an "additional argument" also, namely a release from captivity of most influential in the steppe nobles. Under the laws of war they were obliged to pay a ransom. Possibly they could also play a role of "gifts" in the conclusion of armistice. Vladimir is proud that he has personally taken prisoner four "Princes": Kosus with a son, Tarev (or Tar? a city Tar? a tribe Tar?) prince Azgul ("Handsome As), Aklan son of Burch. Besides, during a campaign of 1111 he captured 15 "young knights" (kmetes) and axed them, and also 200 Kumanian "best men". Nobody counted the ordinary soldiers. Even to allow that Vladimir was a most brave, strong and resolute Rus soldier-prince, and that other Rus warriors, including and the Princes, were less successful, it is obvious that the destruction of Kumans was total: the warriors were ruthlessly killed, and the families driven in captivity to Rus, where they were joining princely and boyar servants, and sometimes joined a retinue.


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Osen, Khan of the Kumans's Timeline

Suzdal, Suzdalsky District, Vladimir Oblast, Russia (Russian Federation)
Age 63