Bilge Kağan

Bilge Khan or Piqie Khan (also Arslan Bilgä Khağan) (Chinese: 毗伽可汗) (683 or 684 - 734), personal name Ashina Mojilian (阿史那默棘連), was one of the most powerful emperors of the Göktürk Empire. His accomplishments are immortalized in the Orkhon inscriptions.

His name literally means "wise chieftain". In 716, he assumed the leadership together with his brother Kul Tigin after a coup against the previous ruler, his cousin Inal Khan who was a weak leader. Bilge Khan and Kul Tigin took their place in history as the wisest and most heroic figures among Gokturk statesmen. They asserted that the state could not be ruled only by fighting and bravery and the Khanate should also require wisdom.

Bilge's empire 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.


Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, Vol. II, pp16-17


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