From time to time the emperors of Trebizond paid tribute to the Seljuk sultans of Iconium, to the grand khans of the Mongols, to Timur the Tatar, to the Turkoman chieftains, and to the Ottomans; but by means of skilful negotiations they were enabled practically to secure their independence.
That of the Khitans, and of the Kin or "Golden" khans, it had been one of their royal residences.
For forty years after the death of its founder it remained united under the authority of a series of grand khans chosen from among his descendants, and then it began to fall to pieces till the various fractions of it became independent khanates.
The khanate closely connected with the history of Russia was that of Kipchak or the Golden Horde, the khans of which settled, as we have seen, on the lower Volga and built for themselves a capital called Sarai.
Their forefathers had been trained in the Tatar school of politics and administration, and in their ideas of government they had come to resemble Tatar khans much more than grand-princes of the old patriarchal type.