The Cumans (or Kumans),[2] also known as Polovtsians or Polovtsy (plural only, from the Russian exonym половцы),[3] were a Turkic[4][5][6][2] nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman–Kipchak confederation. After the Mongol invasion (1237), many sought asylum in the Kingdom of Hungary, as many Cumans had settled in Hungary, the Second Bulgarian Empire playing an important role in the development of the state, and Anatolia before the invasion.[7][8][9]:2[10]:283

Cuman–Kipchak confederation in Eurasia circa 1200
Regions with significant populations
Tengrism (historically), Christianity (İn Balkans) , Islam (İn Anatolia , Balkans)
Related ethnic groups
Kipchaks, Pecheneg, Tatars, Nogais, Kazakhs[1]

Related to the Pecheneg,[11] they inhabited a shifting area north of the Black Sea and along the Volga River known as Cumania, from which the Cuman–Kipchaks meddled in the politics of the Caucasus and the Khwarazmian Empire.[9]:7 The Cumans were fierce and formidable nomadic warriors of the Eurasian Steppe who exerted an enduring influence on the medieval Balkans.[12]:116[13] They were numerous, culturally sophisticated, and militarily powerful.[14]:13

Many eventually settled west of the Black Sea, influencing the politics of Kievan Rus', the Galicia–Volhynia Principality, the Golden Horde Khanate, the Second Bulgarian Empire, the Kingdom of Serbia, the Kingdom of Hungary, Moldavia, the Kingdom of Georgia, the Byzantine Empire, the Empire of Nicaea, the Latin Empire and Wallachia, with Cuman immigrants becoming integrated into each country's elite.[10]:281 The Cumans also played a prominent role in the Fourth Crusade and in the creation of the Second Bulgarian Empire.[9][15]:50 Cuman and Kipchak tribes joined politically to create the Cuman–Kipchak confederation.[14]:7

The Cuman language is attested in some medieval documents and is the best-known of the early Turkic languages.[6]:186 The Codex Cumanicus was a linguistic manual written to help Catholic missionaries communicate with the Cuman people.

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