The Kingdom of Moxoene, alongside Gordyene and Zabdicene, was a Carduchian [1] dynasty in today’s Van.

Moks Region

Moks (Kurdish:Miks, Armenian:Մոկք/Mogg) is a historical region to the south-west of Van Lake. It’s located in the mountains of the southeastern Taurus.

There are different two different views about the exact location of the Moks regions. Most of the sources suggest that it is Bahçesaray (Miks in Kurdish) district [2][3] in Van province while some others mention the city of Muş.[4]

Moks bordered the Lake Van in the north, Corduene in the south, Mardastan in the east and Arzanene in the west.

A map describing the political borders in 1200s. Uploaded to Wikipedia by someone with the username Gabagool.


Miks has been an important region throughout history. The presence of iron ore in the area and the Miks River, a branch of the Dicle River, has had a major and positive impact on the life and structure of the Miks. From ancient times to the midst of 19th century, the region was granted autonomy at various levels by its protective topography.

Miks Chiefdom

In the early 16th century, when Selim I came to the throne, Kurdish chiefdoms and principalities faced existential threats from the Safavid Empire. They eventually joined the Ottomans by will and survived Safavid attacks. Miks, like other Sunni-Kurdish principalities, maintained its autonomous status. At that time, the ruler was Abdal (Ebdal) Beg.

Miks Dynasty in 16th Century


Thanks to its geographical location, Miks was an integration point between Botan and Hakkari emirates. This feature provided the chiefdom with the chance to develop trade relations, interact in art and stay in contact with these two prominent regions.

Miks’ great characteristic in culture and art is that, despite their proximity to both regions, both of which have a high degree of Kurdish culture and art, it was able to create an autonomous culture and art. The Madrasa of Miks which was build by Mîr Hesenê Welî raised notable alumnis such as the immortal poet Feqiyê Teyran (Faqi Tayran) and Islamic scholar Said Nursî.

Miks Emirate was dissolved in early 1848 with the Provincial Reform of the Tanzimat Period. And the sanjak was directly attached to Van. In present day, it is a district in Van province and renamed Bahçesaray as part of Turkification policy. Nonetheless, locals still call it with its original name and Miksî (Muksî) tribe is still around.


1. Cyril Toumanoff,Introduction to Christian Caucasian History II: Status and Dynasties of the Formative Period, Traditio, Vol. XVII (New York: Fordham University Press, 1961). pp. 31–32.
2. Mordtmann, 1872, P. 596
3. Layard, Austin, Sir; 1853; P. 417
4. Kinneir, John Macdonald, Sir; 1813; P. 328

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