Golden Horde. A Mongol-Tatar state founded about 1242 on the Volga River and lasting until the 15th century. Its first capital Sarai, founded by Batu Khan, was near Astrakhan. The state was founded after the Mongols had overrun much of Kyivan Rus’ and extended even into Poland and Hungary. Neighboring Rus’ principalities became vassals of the Golden Horde. Prince Danylo Romanovych strove in vain to form a coalition of European nations to combat the Golden Horde. After reaching its zenith in the mid-14th century, when it covered much of central Asia, the Golden Horde began to decline, loosing control over its peripheries. In the 15th century it disintegrated into several independent khanates, including the Crimean Khanate. (See also Tatars.)

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1989).]


Encyclopedia of Ukraine