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Manichaeism Among The Uygurs: The Uygur Khan Of The Bokug Clan

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Chapter Summary

With a few exceptions, the rulers of the Uygurs had been Manichaeans since the middle of the 8th century when Sogdian Manichaeans converted Bügü Khan who, after his accession in 759 proclaimed it to be the official religion of the Uygur Steppe Empire. Some scholars have interpreted the word boguk ~ bogak, 'crop; swelling, goiter; bud of a flower,' also as 'knot, protuberance, gnarl,' the latter meaning a hardened swelling on a tree. The word boguk or bokug and the legend itself also appear in three Uygur sources, two of which may be from the early 11th century and the third of which from the 14th century, and thus contemporary to the versions in Chinese and in Juvaini.

Keywords: Bügü Khan; bokug; Manichaeism; Uygur



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