BÖRI, or Böritigin (Turkish böri “wolf” plus tigin “prince”; cf. G. Clauson, Etymological Dictionary of Pre-Thirteenth Century Turkish, Oxford, 1972, pp. 356, 483).

1. The name of a Turkish commander in Ḡazna (the name is written in Arabic sources Bīrī, Bīrītekīn, in the Persian ones Pīrī, Pīrītegīn). After the death in battle at Gardīz in 364/974-75 or shortly after of Bilgetigin, the Turkish garrison who had been left in Ḡazna by Alptigin chose Böri as their commander. However, he soon proved drunken and incompetent, and the indigenous population of Ḡazna invited back their former ruler, displaced by Alptigin, Abū ʿAlī Lavīk or Anūk. Lavīk was defeated in the Lōgar valley en route from Kabul to Ḡazna by Sebüktigin (q.v.), another of the ḡolām commanders in Ḡazna, and in 366/977 Böri was declared deposed, and Sebüktigin succeeded as leader in Ḡazna, where he was to found the Ghaznavid dynasty.

2. Böritigin is also the original, Turkish totemistic name (onḡun; see O. Pritsak, “Die Karachaniden,” Der Islam 31, 1953-54, pp. 45-46) of the ruler of the western branch of the Qarakhanid dynasty of Transoxania and eastern Turkestan, Tamḡač Khan Ebrāhīm b. Naṣr (ca. 444-60/ca. 1052-68), and in this early form of his name appears in the pages of Bayhaqī, (index, s.v. Pūrtegīn) as the opponent in the upper Oxus principalities of the Ghaznavid sultan Masʿūd b. Maḥmūd in the later 420s/1030s. See also qarakhanids.



Primary sources: Jūzjānī, Ṭaba­qāt I, p. 227; tr. Raverty, I, pp. 73-74.

Ebn Bābā Qāšānī, Ketāb raʾs māl al-nadīm, tr. in Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, pp. 134-44, cf. pp. 145-46.

Moḥammad b. ʿAlī Šabānkāraʾī, Majmaʿ al-ansāb, MS Yeni Cami 909, fol. 165b; ed.

M. H. Moḥaddeṯ, Tehran, 1363 Š./1984, pp. 30, 32-34.

Secondary sources: M. Nāẓim, The Life and Times of Sulṭān Maḥmūd of Ghazna, Cambridge, 1931, p. 27.

C. E. Bosworth, The Ghaznavids, pp. 38-39.

Idem, “Notes on the Pre-Ghaznavid History of Eastern Afghani­stan,” Islamic Quarterly 9, 1965, p. 17.

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(C. Edmund Bosworth)

Originally Published: December 15, 1989

Last Updated: December 15, 1989

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