Monday, December 7, 2015

Oghuzes, Pechenegs, Bashkirs, and Khazars: Wikipedia

Oghuzes, Pechenegs, Bashkirs, and Khazars.

Oghuz Turks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about a group of Turkic peoples. For other uses, see Oghuz.
Oguz Yabgu State in Kazakhstan, 750-1055
The Ghuzz or Turkmen also known as Oguzes (a linguistic term designating the Western Turkic or Oghuz languages from the Oghur sub-division of Turkic language family) were a historical Turkic tribal confederation conventionally named the Oghuz Yabgu State in Central Asia during the early medieval period. The name Oguz is a Common Turkic word for "tribe". The Oguz confederation migrated westward from the Jeti-su area after a conflict with the Karluk branch of Uigurs. The founders of the Ottoman Empire were descendants of the Oguz Yabgu State. Today the residents of Turkey, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Gagauzia and Iranian Azerbaijan are descendants of Oghuz Turks and their language belongs to the Oghuz (a.k.a. southwestern Turkic) group of the Turkic languages family. According to Khazar sources,[1][2][3] Oghuzes are the seventh son of Togarmah related to Gog and Magog.
In the 9th century, the Oguzes from the Aral steppes drove Bechens from the Emba and Ural River region toward the west. In the 10th century, they inhabited the steppe of the rivers Sari-su, Turgai, and Emba to the north of Lake Balkhash of modern-day Kazakhstan.[4] A clan of this nation, the Seljuks, embraced Islam and in the 11th century entered Persia, where they founded the Great Seljuk Empire. Similarly in the 11th century, a Tengriist Oghuz clan—referred to as Uzes or Torks in the Russian chronicles—overthrew Pecheneg supremacy in the Russian steppe. Harried by another Turkic horde, the Kipchaks, these Oghuz penetrated as far as the lower Danube, crossed it and invaded the Balkans, where they were either crushed[5] or struck down by an outbreak of plague, causing the survivors either to flee or to join the Byzantine imperial forces as mercenaries (1065).[6]
Asia in 600 AD
The Oghuz seem to have been related to the Pechenegs, some of whom were clean-shaven and others of whom had small 'goatee' beards. According to the book Attila and the Nomad Hordes, "Like the Kimaks they set up many carved wooden funerary statues surrounded by simple stone balbal monoliths."[7] The authors of the book go on to note that "Those Uzes or Torks who settled along the Russian frontier were gradually Slavicized, though they also played a leading role as cavalry in 1100- and early 1200-era Russian armies, where they were known as Black Hats.... Oghuz warriors served in almost all Islamic armies of the Middle East from the 1000s onwards, in Byzantium from the 800's, and even in Spain and Morocco."[7] In later centuries, they adapted and applied their own traditions and institutions to the ends of the Islamic world and emerged as empire-builders with a constructive sense of statecraft.
Linguistically, the Oghuz are listed together with the old Kimaks of the middle Yenisei of the Ob, the old Kipchaks who later emigrated to southern Russia, and the modern Kirghiz in one particular Turkic group, distinguished from the rest by the mutation of the initial y sound to j (dj).
"The term 'Oghuz' was gradually supplanted among the Turks themselves by Türkmen, 'Turcoman', from the mid 900's on, a process which was completed by the beginning of the 1200s."[8]
"The Ottoman dynasty, who gradually took over Anatolia after the fall of the Seljuks, toward the end of the 13th century, led an army that was also predominantly Oghuz."[9]
Petroglyphs from Zavkhan Province, Mongolia, depicting Göktürks (500's-700's).



Main article: Origin of the Turks
In 178-177 BC, the Xiongnu shan-yü Mao-tun subdued a people called Hu-chieh, west of Wu-sun located in the Tarim Basin, the Ili Valley and the Pamir Mountains. It is suggested that the early pronunciation of this transliteration might be related to the ancestors of Oghur/Oghuz.[10] However, it is known that Oghuz people historically appeared with this name in a region extending from the east of Caspian Sea to the east of Lake Aral, neighbouring to Karakum Desert in the south.[11]
A head of Dede Korkut in Baku.
The original homeland of the Oghuz, like other Turks, was the Ural-Altay region of Central Asia, which has been the domain of Turkic peoples since antiquity. Although their mass-migrations from Central Asia occurred from the 800's onwards, they were present in areas west of the Caspian Sea centuries prior, although smaller in numbers and perhaps living with other Turks.[citation needed] For example, the Book of Dede Korkut, the historical epic of the Oghuz Turks, was written from the 800's and 900's.[12]
According to many historians, the usage of the word "Oghuz" is dated back to the advent of the Huns (220 BC). The title of "Oghuz" (Oguz Kaan) was given to Mau-Tun,[13][14] the founder of the Xiongnu Empire, which is often considered the first Turkic political entity in Central Asia.
Also in the 2nd century BC, a Turkic tribe called O-kut or Wuqi 呼揭, 呼得, 乌揭, 乌护 who were described as a western enemy of the Huns (referred to in Chinese sources, Shiji, 110 and Suishu, 84) were mentioned in the area of the Irtysh River, in present-day Lake Zaysan. The Greek sources used the name Oufi (or Ouvvi) to describe the Oghuz Turks, a name they had also used to describe the Huns centuries earlier.[citation needed]
A number of tribal groupings bearing the name Oghuz, often with a numeral representing the number of united tribes in the union, are noted.
Reverse side of Azerbaijani manat showing the old Turkic script.
The mention of the "six Oghuz tribal union" in the Turkic Orhun inscriptions (500's) pertains to the unification of the six Turkic tribes which became known as the Oghuz. This was the first written reference to Oghuz, and was dated to the period of the Göktürk empire. The Oghuz community gradually grew larger, uniting more Turkic tribes prior and during the Göktürk establishment.[15]
Prior to the Göktürk state, there are references to the Sekiz-Oghuz ("eight-Oghuz") and the Dokuz-Oghuz ("nine-Oghuz") union. The Oghuz Turks under Sekiz-Oghuz and the Dokuz-Oghuz state formations ruled different areas in the vicinity of the Altay mountains. During the establishment of the Göktürk state, Oghuz tribes inhabited the Altay mountain region and also lived in northeastern areas of the Altay mountains along the Tula River. They were also present as a community near the Barlik River in present-day northern Mongolia.
Their main homeland and domain in the ensuing centuries was the area of Transoxiana, in western Turkestan.
This land became known as the "Oghuz steppe", which is an area between the Caspian and Aral Seas. Ibn al-Athir, an Arab historian, declared that the Oghuz Turks had come to Transoxiana in the period of the caliph Al-Mahdi in the years between 775 and 785. In the period of the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun (813–833), the name Oghuz starts to appear in the works of Islamic writers. By 780, the eastern parts of the Syr Darya were ruled by the Karluk Turks and the western region (Oghuz steppe) was ruled by the Oghuz Turks.

Social units

Turkmen woman at the entrance to a yurt in Turkestan; 1911 color photograph by Prokudin-Gorskii
The militarism that the Oghuz empires were very well known for was rooted in their centuries-long nomadic lifestyle. In general they were a herding society which possessed certain military advantages that sedentary societies did not have, particularly mobility. Alliances by marriage and kinship, and systems of "social distance" based on family relationships were the connective tissues of their society.
In Oghuz traditions, "society was simply the result of the growth of individual families". But such a society also grew by alliances and the expansion of different groups, normally through marriages. The shelter of the Oghuz tribes was a tent-like dwelling, erected on wooden poles and covered with skin, felt, or hand-woven textiles, which is called a yurt.
Their cuisine included yahni (stew), kebabs, Toyga çorbası (lit. "wedding soup;" a soup made from wheat flour and yogurt), Kımız (a traditional drink of the Turks, made from fermented horse milk), Pekmez (a syrup made of boiled grape juice) and helva made with wheat starch or rice flour, tutmac (noodle soup), yufka (flattened bread), katmer (layered pastry), chorek (ring-shaped buns), bread, clotted cream, cheese, milk and ayran (diluted yogurt beverage), as well as wine.
Social order was maintained by emphasizing "correctness in conduct as well as ritual and ceremony". Ceremonies brought together the scattered members of the society to celebrate birth, puberty, marriage, and death. Such ceremonies had the effect of minimizing social dangers and also of adjusting persons to each other under controlled emotional conditions.
Patrilineally related men and their families were regarded as a group with rights over a particular territory and were distinguished from neighbours on a territorial basis. Marriages were often arranged among territorial groups so that neighbouring groups could become related, but this was the only organizing principle that extended territorial unity. Each community of the Oghuz Turks was thought of as part of a larger society composed of distant as well as close relatives. This signified "tribal allegiance". Wealth and materialistic objects were not commonly emphasized in Oghuz society and most remained herders, and when settled they would be active in agriculture.
Status within the family was based on age, gender, relationships by blood, or marriageability. Males as well as females were active in society, yet men were the backbones of leadership and organization. According to the Book of Dede Korkut, which demonstrates the culture of the Oghuz Turks, women were "expert horse riders, archers, and athletes". The elders were respected as repositories of both "secular and spiritual wisdom".

Homeland in Transoxiana

Physical map of Central Asia from the Caucasus in the northwest, to Mongolia in the northeast.
In the 700's, the Oghuz Turks made a new home and domain for themselves in the area between the Caspian and Aral seas, a region that is often referred to as Transoxiana, the western portion of Turkestan. They had moved westward from the Altay mountains passing through the Siberian steppes and settled in this region, and also penetrated into southern Russia and the Volga from their bases in west China. In the 11th century, the Oghuz Turks adopted Arabic script, after being initially illiterate.[16]
In his accredited work titled Diwan Lughat al-Turk, Mahmud of Kashgar, a Turkic scholar of the 11th century, described the Karachuk Mountains which are located just east of the Aral Sea as the original homeland of the Oghuz Turks. The Karachuk mountains are now known as the Tengri Tagh (Tian Shan in Chinese) Mountains, and they are adjacent to Syr Darya.
The extension from the Karachuk Mountains towards the Caspian Sea (Transoxiana) was called the "Oghuz Steppe Lands" from where the Oghuz Turks established trading, religious and cultural contacts with the Abbasid Arab caliphate who ruled to the south. This is around the same time that they first converted to Islam and renounced their Tengriism belief system. The Arab historians mentioned that the Oghuz Turks in their domain in Transoxiana were ruled by a number of kings and chieftains.
It was in this area that they later founded the Seljuk Empire, and it was from this area that they spread west into western Asia and eastern Europe during Turkic migrations from the 9th until the 12th century. The founders of the Ottoman Empire were also Oghuz Turks.

Oghuz and Yörüks

Main article: Yörüks
Yörük shepherd in the Taurus Mountains.
The Yörük, also Yürüks or Yuruks are a Turkic people ultimately of Oghuz descent,[17][18] some of whom are still semi-nomadic, primarily inhabiting the mountains of Anatolia and partly Balkan peninsula. Their name derives from the Old-Turkic verb from Eastern Turkish dialect (Çagatay dialekt)- yörü "yörümek", but Western Turkish dialect (Garbi Türkçe) yürü- (yürümek in infinitive), which means "to walk", with the word Yörük or Yürük designating "those who walk, walkers".[19][20][21]
Main areas inhabited by Yörük tribes in Anatolia today[citation needed]
The Yörük to this day appear as a distinct segment of the population of Macedonia and Thrace where they settled as early as the 14th century.[22] While today the Yörük are increasingly settled, many of them still maintain their nomadic lifestyle, breeding goats and sheep in the Taurus Mountains and further eastern parts of mediterranean regions (in southern Anatolia), in the Pindus (Epirus, Greece and southern Albania), the Šar Mountains (Republic of Macedonia), the Pirin and Rhodope Mountains (Bulgaria) and Dobrudja.[citation needed] An earlier offshoot of the Yörüks, the Kailars or Kayılar Turks were amongst the first Turkish colonists in Europe,[22] (Kailar or Kayılar being the Turkish name for the Greek town of Ptolemaida which took its current name in 1928)[23] formerly inhabiting parts of the Greek regions of Thessaly and Macedonia. Settled Yörüks could be found until 1923, especially near and in the town of Kozani. The Yörüks are credited with the conversion to Islam in the 18th century, after a period of cohabitation, of a part of the native Meglen Vlachs of Greece[citation needed] who in 1923 were expelled to Turkey under the terms of the population exchange between the two countries.

Oghuz Turk dynasties

The Ak Koyunlu Confederation in 1478

Traditional tribal organization

The Great Seljuq Empire in 1092, upon the death of Malik Shah I[citation needed]
Bozoklar (Gray Arrows)
Üçoklar (Three Arrows)

Turcoman Turkman

A Turkmen man of Central Asia in traditional clothes, around 1905–1915.
The terms "Turkmen" and "Turcoman" were often used as a designation for the Muslim-Oghuz Turks (Azerbaijanis, Turks of Turkey, Central Asian Turks) in periods of history although other Turkic factions described as Turks (Kumans, Khazars, Uyghurs, etc.), and the ethnic name that the modern Turkmens of Central Asia use to designate their nationality was formed later. Although a term most commonly used for the Oghuz of Central Asia, the name "Turkmen" or "Turcoman" once applied to Azerbaijanis and the Turks of Turkey as well, distinguishing between other Turks and non-Muslim Turks. Some western books which were written prior to the modern age use the terms "Turcoman" for the descendants of the Oghuz Turks who were not from the Turkmen nationality of Central Asia, which is one of the branches of the Oghuz.
For example, many sources prior to the modern age claim that the largest component of the population of Azerbaijan is composed of "Turcoman tribes". The "Turkmen" reference in history books which is often used for Azerbaijanis and Turks of Turkey simply means "Muslim Turk" or "Muslim western Turk", which means Oghuz Turk. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the name Turkmen is a synonym of Oghuz.[citation needed] Turkish historian Yılmaz Öztuna presents almost the same definition of the name "Turkmen". He labels the Turkmen Oghuz or western Turkish populations as Ottomans, Azerbaijan, and Turkmen (Turkmenistan).[citation needed] In Turkey the word "Turkmen" refers to nomadic Turkish tribes (all Muslims), some of whom still continue this lifestyle.[citation needed]


Oghuz Turkish literature includes the famous Book of Dede Korkut which was UNESCO's 2000 literary work of the year, as well as the Oguznama and Köroğlu epics which are part of the literary history of Azerbaijanis, Turks of Turkey and Turkmens. The modern and classical literature of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Central Asia are also considered Oghuz literature, since it was produced by their descendants.
The Book of Dede Korkut is an invaluable collection of epics and stories, bearing witness to the language, the way of life, religions, traditions and social norms of the Oghuz Turks in Azerbaijan, Turkey and Central Asia.

See also


  • The Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. (1835) B. B. Edwards and J. Newton Brown. Brattleboro, Vermont, Fessenden & Co., p. 1125.
    1. Kafesoğlu, İbrahim. Türk Milli Kültürü. Türk Kültürünü Araştırma Enstitüsü, 1977. page 134


    • Grousset, R., The Empire of the Steppes, 1991, Rutgers University Press
    • Nicole, D., Attila and the Huns, 1990, Osprey Publishing
    • Lewis, G., The Book of Dede Korkut, "Introduction", 1974, Penguin Books
    • Minahan, James B. One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups. Greenwood Press, 2000. page 692
    • Aydın, Mehmet. Bayat-Bayat boyu ve Oğuzların tarihi. Hatiboğlu Yayınevi, 1984. web page

    External links

  • Bloomberg, Jon: The Jewish World in the Middle Ages. Ktav Publishing, 2000, p. 108.
  • Pritsak O. & Golb. N: Khazarian Hebrew Documents of the Tenth Century, Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1982.
  • Grousset, R. The Empire of the Steppes. Rutgers University Press, 1991, p. 148.
  • Grousset, R. The Empire of the Steppes. Rutgers University Press, 1991, p. 186.
  • Hupchick, D. The Balkans. Palgrave, 2002, p. 62.
  • Nicolle, David; Angus Mcbride (1990). Attila and the Nomad Hordes. Osprey Publishing. pp. 46–47. ISBN 0-85045-996-6.
  • Lewis, G. The Book of Dede Korkut. Penguin Books, 1974, p. 10.
  • Lewis, p. 9.
  • Torday, L., Mounted Archers: The Beginnings of Central Asian History. The Durham Academic Press, 1997, pp. 220-221.
  • Faruk Sümer, Oğuzlar, TDV Islam Ansiklopedisi, Year: 2007, Vol: 33, Page: 325-330, Language: Turkish, Online Version
  • Alstadt, Audrey. The Azerbaijani Turks, p.11. Hoover Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8179-9182-4
  • Bichurin N.Ya., "Collection of information on peoples in Central Asia in ancient times", vol. 1, Sankt Petersburg, 1851, pp. 56-57
  • Taskin V.S., "Materials on history of Sünnu", transl., 1968, Vol. 1, p. 129
  • Oguz entry, Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  • C.E. Bosworth, The Ghaznavids:994-1040, (Edinburgh University Press, 1963), 216.
  • N. K. Singh, A. M. Khan, Encyclopaedia of the world Muslims: Tribes, Castes and Communities, Vol.4, Delhi 2001, p.1542
  • Grolier Incorporated, Academic American Encyclopedia, vol.20, 1989, p.34
  • Sir Gerard Clauson, An Etymological Dictionary of Pre-Thirteenth Century Turkish, Oxford 1972, p.972
  • Turkish Language Association - TDK Online Dictionary. Yorouk, yorouk (Turkish)
  • "yuruk". Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster. 2002.
  • Encyclopædia Britannica 11th Edition - Macedonia: Races
  • - History of Ptolemaida web page
  • "Some Ottoman genealogies claim, perhaps fancifully, descent from Kayı.", Carter Vaughn Findley, The Turks in World History, pp. 50, 2005, Oxford University Press
  • Oğuzlar, Oğuz Türkleri
  • end quote from:
  • Oghuzes
  • begin: Pechenegs 
  • Pechenegs

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    This article is about the Turkic tribe. For the Russian weapon, see Pecheneg machine gun.
    Pecheneg Khanates
    Peçenek Hanlığı
    Pecheneg Khanates and neighboring territories, c.1015
    Capital Not specified
    Languages Pecheneg Turkic
    Political structure Khanate
     •  Established 860
     •  Disestablished 1091
    History of the Turkic peoples
    History of the Turkic peoples
    Pre-14th century
    Turkic Khaganate 552–744
      Western Turkic
      Eastern Turkic
    Avar Khaganate 564–804
    Khazar Khaganate 618–1048
    Xueyantuo 628–646
    Great Bulgaria 632–668
      Danube Bulgaria
      Volga Bulgaria
    Kangar union 659–750
    Turgesh Khaganate 699–766
    Uyghur Khaganate 744–840
    Karluk Yabgu State 756–940
    Kara-Khanid Khanate 840–1212
      Western Kara-Khanid
      Eastern Kara-Khanid
    Gansu Uyghur Kingdom 848–1036
    Kingdom of Qocho 856–1335
    Pecheneg Khanates
    Kimek Khanate
    Oghuz Yabgu State

    Ghaznavid Empire 963–1186
    Seljuk Empire 1037–1194
      Seljuk Sultanate of Rum
    Khwarazmian Empire 1077–1231
    Delhi Sultanate 1206–1526
      Mamluk dynasty
      Khilji dynasty
      Tughlaq dynasty
    Golden Horde | [1][2][3] 1240s–1502
    Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo) 1250–1517
      Bahri dynasty
      Ottoman Empire 1299-1923
    The Pechenegs or Patzinaks[4] were a semi-nomadic Turkic people of the Central Asian steppes speaking the Pecheneg language which belonged to the Turkic language family. Three of the ruling clans of the Pechenegs were the Kankalis/Kangli.



    The Pechenegs' ethnonym derived from the Old Turkic word for "brother-in-law” (baja, baja-naq or bajinaq), implying that it initially referred to "in-law related clan or tribe".[5][6] Sources written in different languages used similar denominations when referring to the confederation of the Pecheneg tribes.[5] They were mentioned under the names Bjnak, Bjanak or Bajanak in Arabic and Persian texts, as Be-ča-nag in Classical Tibetan documents, as Pačanak-i in works written in Georgian, and as Pacinnak in Armenian.[5] Anna Komnene and other Byzantine authors referred to the Pechenegs as Patzinakoi or Patzinakitai.[5] In medieval Latin texts, the Pechenegs were referred to as Pizenaci, Bisseni or Bessi.[5] East Slavic peoples use the terms Pečenegi or Pečenezi, while the Poles mentions them as Pieczyngowie or Piecinigi.[5] The Hungarian word for Pecheneg is besenyő.[5]
    According to Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, three of the eight Pechenegs "provinces" or clans were known under the name Kangar.[7] He added that they received this denomination because "they are more valiant and noble than the rest" of the people "and that is what the title Kangar signifies".[7][8] However, no Turkic word with the meaning suggested by the emperor has been demonstrated.[9] Ármin Vámbéry connected the Kangar denomination to the Kirghiz words kangir ("agile"), kangirmak ("to go out riding") and kani-kara ("black-blooded"), while Carlile Aylmer Macartney associated it with the Chagatai word gang ("chariot").[10] Omeljan Pritsak proposed that the name had initially been a composite term (Kängär As) deriving from the Tocharian word for stone (kank) and the Iranian ethnonym As.[11] If the latter assumption is valid, the ethnonym of the three Kangar tribes suggest that Iranian elements contributed to the formation of the Pecheneg people.[12]


    Main article: Pecheneg language
    Mahmud al-Kashgari, an 11th-century man of letters specialized in Turkic dialects argued that the language spoken by the Pechenegs was a variant of the Cuman and Oghuz idioms.[13] He suggested that foreign influences on the Pechenegs gave rise to phonetical differences between their tongue and the idiom spoken by other Turkic peoples.[14] Anna Komnene likewise stated that the Pechenegs and the Cumans shared a common language.[13] Although the Pecheneg language itself died out centuries ago,[15] the names of the Pecheneg "provinces" recorded by Constantine Porphyrogenitus prove that the Pechenegs spoke a Turkic language.[16]


    Origins (till c. 800 or 850)

    Ibn Khordadbeh, Mahmud al-Kashgari, Muhammad al-Idrisi and many other Muslim scholars agreed that the Pechenegs belonged to the Turkic peoples.[17] The Russian Primary Chronicle stated that the "Torkmens, Pechenegs, Torks, and Polovcians" descended from "the godless sons of Ishmael, who had been sent as a chastisement to the Christians".[18][19]
    Paul Pelliot was the first to propose that a 7th-century Chinese work, the Book of Sui preserved the earliest record on the Pechenegs.[20] It writes of the Pei-ju, a people settled along the En-ch'u and A-lan peoples (identified as the Onogurs and Alans, respectively) east of Fu-lin (the Eastern Roman Empire).[21] In contrast with this view, Victor Spinei argues that the first certain reference to the Pechenegs can be read in a Tibetan translation of an 8th-century Uyghur text.[21] It narrates a war between two peoples, the Be-ča-nag (the Pechenegs) and the Hor (the Ouzes).[21] The Pechenegs inhabited the region along the river Syr Darya at the time when the first records were made of them.[22][21]

    Westward migration (c. 800 or 850–c. 895)

    The Pechenegs were forced to leave their Central Asian homeland[6][21] by a coalition of the Oghuz Turks, Karluks and Kimaks.[11] The Pechenegs' westward migration started between the 790s and 850s, but its exact date cannot be determined.[6][21][11] The Pechenegs settled in the steppe corridor[23] between the rivers Ural and Volga.[21]
    According to Gardizi and other Muslim scholars who based their works on 9th-century sources, the Pechenegs' new territories were bordered by the Cumans, Khazars, Oghuz Turks and Slavs.[24][23] The same sources also narrate that the Pechenegs regularly waged war against the Khazars and the latter's vassals, the Burtas.[23][25] The Khazars and the Oghuz Turks made an alliance against the Pechenegs and attacked them.[21][26] Outnumbered by the enemy, the Pechenegs started a new migration, invaded the dwelling places of the Hungarians and forced them to leave.[26][23] There is no consensual date for this second migration of the Pechenegs: Pritsak argues that it took place around 830,[23] but Kristó suggests that it could hardly occur before the 850s.[27] The Pechenegs settled along the rivers Donets and Kuban.[23]
    It is plausible that the distinction between the "Turkic Pechenegs" and "Khazar Pechenegs" mentioned in the 10th-century Hudud al-'alam had its origin in this period.[23] Spinei proposes that the latter denomination most probably refers to Pecheneg groups accepting Khazar suzerainty.[21] In addition to these two branches, a third group of Pechenegs existed in this period: Constantine Porphyrogenitus and Ibn Fadlan mention that those who decided not to leave their homeland were incorporated into the Oghuz federation of Turkic tribes.[6][23] However, it is uncertain whether this groups' formation is connected to the Pechenegs' first or second migration (as it is proposed by Pritsak and Golden, respectively).[6][23] According to Mahmud al-Kashgari, one of the Üçok clans of the Oghuz Turks[28] was still formed by Pechenegs in the 1060s.[23]
    Originally, the Pechenegs had their dwelling on the river Atil, and likewise on the river Geïch, having common frontiers with the Chazars and the so-called Uzes. But fifty years ago the so-called Uzes made common cause with the Chazars and joined battle with the Pechenegs and prevailed over them and expelled them from their country, which the so-called Uzes have occupied till this day. [...] At the time when the Pechenegs were expelled from their country, some of them of their own will and personal decision stayed behind there and united with the so-called Uzes, and even to this day they live among them, and wear such distinguishing marks as separate them off and betray their origin and how it came about that they were split off from their own folk: for their tunics are short, reaching to the knee, and their sleeves are cut off at the shoulder, whereby, you see, they indicate that they have been cut off from their own folk and those of their race.

    Origins and area

    In Mahmud Kashgari's 11th-century work Dīwān lughāt al-turk (Arabic: ديوان لغات الترك‎),[30] the name Beçenek is given two meanings. The first is "a Turkish nation living around the country of the Rum", where Rum was the Turkish word for the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire). Kashgari's second definition of Beçenek is "a branch of Oghuz Turks"; he subsequently described the Oghuz as being formed of 22 branches, of which the 19th branch was named Beçenek. Max Vasmer derives this name from the Turkic word for "brother-in-law, relative" (Turkmen: bacanak and Turkish: bacanak).
    By the 9th and 10th centuries, they controlled much of the steppes of southwestern Eurasia and the Crimean Peninsula. Although an important factor in the region at the time, like most nomadic tribes their concept of statecraft failed to go beyond random attacks on neighbours and spells as mercenaries for other powers.
    According to Constantine Porphyrogenitus, writing in c. 950, Patzinakia, the Pecheneg realm, stretched west as far as the Siret River (or even the Eastern Carpathian Mountains), and was four days distant from "Tourkias" (i.e. Hungary).
    The whole of Patzinakia is divided into eight provinces with the same number of great princes. The provinces are these: the name of the first province is Irtim; of the second, Tzour; of the third, Gyla; of the fourth, Koulpeï; of the fifth, Charaboï; of the sixth, Talmat; of the seventh, Chopon; of the eighth, Tzopon. At the time at which the Pechenegs were expelled from their country, their princes were, in the province of Irtim, Baïtzas; in Tzour, Kouel; in Gyla, Kourkoutai; in Koulpeï, Ipaos; in Charaboï, Kaïdoum; in the province of Talmat, Kostas; in Chopon, Giazis; in the province of Tzopon, Batas.
    According to Omeljan Pritsak, the Pechenegs are descendants from the ancient Kangars who originate from Tashkent.

    In Armenian sources

    In the Armenian chronicles of Matthew of Edessa Pechenegs are mentioned a couple of times. The first mention is in chapter 75, where it says that in the year 499 (according to the old Armenian calendar — years 1050–51 according to the Gregorian calendar) the Badzinag nation caused great destruction in many provinces of "Rome", i.e. the Byzantine territories. The second is in chapter 103, which is about the Battle of Manzikert. In that chapter it is told that the allies of "Rome", Padzunak and Uz (some branches of the Oghuz Turks) tribes which changed their sides at the peak of the battle and began fighting against the Byzantine forces, side by side with the Seljuq Turks. In the 132nd chapter a war between "Rome" and the Padzinags is described and after the defeat of the Roman (Byzantine) Army, an unsuccessful siege of Constantinople by the Padzinags is mentioned. In that chapter, the Patzinags are described as an "all archer army". In chapter 299, the Armenian prince, Vasil, who was in the Roman Army, sent a platoon of Padzinags (they had settled in the city of Misis, around modern Adana, which is far away from the lands where Pechenegs were then mainly living) to the aid of the Christians.

    Alliance with Byzantium

    Sviatoslav enters Bulgaria with Pecheneg allies,[32] from the Constantine Manasses Chronicle.
    In the 9th century, the Byzantines became allied with the Pechenegs, using them to fend off other, more dangerous tribes such as the Rus and the Magyars.
    The Uzes, another Turkic steppe people, eventually expelled the Pechenegs from their homeland; in the process, they also seized most of their livestock and other goods. An alliance of Oghuz, Kimeks, and Karluks was also pressing the Pechenegs, but another group, the Samanids, defeated that alliance. Driven further west by the Khazars and Cumans by 889, the Pechenegs in turn drove the Magyars west of the Dnieper River by 892.
    Bulgarian Tsar Simeon I employed the Pechenegs to help fend off the Magyars. The Pechenegs were so successful that they drove out the Magyars remaining in Etelköz and the Pontic steppes, forcing them westward towards the Pannonian plain, where they later founded the Hungarian state.

    Late history and decline

    In the 9th century the Pechenegs began a period of wars against Kievan Rus'. For more than two centuries they had launched raids into the lands of Rus', which sometimes escalated into full-scale wars (like the 920 war on the Pechenegs by Igor of Kiev, reported in the Primary Chronicle). The Pecheneg wars against Kievan Rus' caused the Slavs from Walachian territories to gradually migrate north of the Dniestr in the 10th and 11th centuries.[33] Rus'/Pecheneg temporary military alliances also occurred however, as during the Byzantine campaign in 943 led by Igor.[34] In 968 the Pechenegs attacked and besieged Kiev; some joined the Prince of Kiev, Sviatoslav I, in his Byzantine campaign of 970–971, though eventually they ambushed and killed the Kievan prince in 972. According to the Primary Chronicle, the Pecheneg Khan Kurya made a chalice from Sviatoslav's skull, in accordance with the custom of steppe nomads. The fortunes of the Rus'-Pecheneg confrontation swung during the reign of Vladimir I of Kiev (990–995), who founded the town of Pereyaslav upon the site of his victory over the Pechenegs,[35] followed by the defeat of the Pechenegs during the reign of Yaroslav I the Wise in 1036. Shortly thereafter, other nomadic peoples replaced the weakened Pechenegs in the Pontic steppe: the Cumans and the Torks. According to Mykhailo Hrushevsky (History of Ukraine-Ruthenia), after its defeat near Kiev the Pecheneg Horde moved towards the Danube, crossed the river, and disappeared out of the Pontic steppes.
    The Pechenegs slaughter the "skyths" of Sviatoslav I of Kiev.
    After centuries of fighting involving all their neighbours—the Byzantine Empire, Bulgaria, Kievan Rus', Khazaria, and the Magyars—the Pechenegs were annihilated as an independent force in 1091 at the Battle of Levounion by a combined Byzantine and Cuman army under Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. Alexios I recruited the defeated Pechenegs, whom he settled in the district of Moglena (today in Macedonia) into a tagma "of the Moglena Pechenegs".[36] Attacked again in 1094 by the Cumans, many Pechenegs were slain or absorbed. The Byzantines defeated the Pechenegs again at the Battle of Beroia in 1122, on the territory of modern-day Bulgaria. For some time, significant communities of Pechenegs still remained in the Kingdom of Hungary. With time the Balkan Pechenegs lost their national identity and became fully assimilated, mostly with Magyars and Bulgarians.
    In the 12th century, according to Byzantine historian John Kinnamos, the Pechenegs fought as mercenaries for the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos in southern Italy against the Norman king of Sicily, William the Bad.[37] A group of Pechenegs was present at the battle of Andria in 1155.[38]
    The Pechenegs were last mentioned in 1168 as members of Turkic tribes known in the chronicles as the "Black Hats".[39]
    In 15th-century Hungary, some people adopted the surname Besenyö (Hungarian for "Pecheneg"); they were most numerous in the county of Tolna. One of the earliest introductions of Islam into Eastern Europe came about through the work of an early 11th-century Muslim prisoner who was captured by the Byzantines. The Muslim prisoner was brought into the Besenyö territory of the Pechenegs, where he taught and converted individuals to Islam.[40] In the late 12th century, Abu Hamid al Garnathi referred to Hungarian Pechenegs - probably Muslims - living disguised as Christians. In the southeast of Serbia, there is a village called Pecenjevce founded by Pechenegs. After war with Byzantium, the broken remnants of the tribes found refuge in the area, where they established their settlement.


    See also


  • Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2006). Peoples of Western Asia. p. 364.
  • References

    Primary sources

    • Anna Comnena: The Alexiad (Translated by E. R. A. Sewter) (1969). Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-044958-7.
    • Constantine Porphyrogenitus: De Administrando Imperio (Greek text edited by Gyula Moravcsik, English translation b Romillyi J. H. Jenkins) (1967). Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies. ISBN 0-88402-021-5.

    Secondary sources

    • Atalay, Besim (2006). Divanü Lügati't - Türk. Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi. ISBN 975-16-0405-2.
    • Curta, Florin (2006). Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-89452-4.
    • Golden, Peter B. (2003). Nomads and their Neighbours in the Russian Steppe: Turks, Khazars and Quipchaqs. Ashgate. ISBN 0-86078-885-7.
    • Macartney, C. A. (1968). The Magyars in the Ninth Century. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-08070-5.
    • Pritsak, Omeljan (1975). "The Pechenegs: A Case of Social and Economic Transformation". Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi (The Peter de Ridder Press) 1: 211–235.
    • Róna-Tas, András (1999). Hungarians and Europe in the Early Middle Ages: An Introduction to Early Hungarian History (Translated by Nicholas Bodoczky). CEU Press. ISBN 978-963-9116-48-1.
    • Spinei, Victor (2003). The Great Migrations in the East and South East of Europe from the Ninth to the Thirteenth Century (Translated by Dana Badulescu). ISBN 973-85894-5-2.
    • Spinei, Victor (2009). The Romanians and the Turkic Nomads North of the Danube Delta from the Tenth to the Mid-Thirteenth century. Koninklijke Brill NV. ISBN 978-90-04-17536-5.

    Further reading

    External links

  • Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (2007). Historic Cities of the Islamic World. p. 280.

  • Borrero, Mauricio (2009). Russia: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present. p. 162.

  • Turkish: Peçenek(ler), Romanian: Pecenegi, Russian: Печенег(и), Ukrainian: Печеніг(и), Hungarian: Besenyő(k), Croatian: Pečenezi, Greek: Πατζινάκοι, Πετσενέγοι, Πατζινακίται, Georgian: პაჭანიკი, Bulgarian: печенеги, pechenegi or печенези, pechenezi; Serbian: Печенези, Latin: Pacinacae, Bisseni

  • Spinei 2003, p. 93.

  • Golden 2003, p. I.64.

  • Curta 2006, p. 182.

  • Constantine Porphyrogenitus: De Administrando Imperio (ch. 37), p. 171.

  • Macartney 1968, p. 104.

  • Macartney 1968, pp. 104-105.

  • Pritsak 1975, p. 213.

  • Spinei 2003, p. 94.

  • Spinei 2003, p. 95.

  • Spinei 2009, p. 181.

  • Spinei 2009, p. 343.

  • Róna-Tas 1999, p. 239.

  • Spinei 2009, p. 182.

  • Spinei 2009, p. 186.

  • Russian Primary Chronicle (year 6604/1096), p. 184)

  • Pritsak 1975, p. 211.

  • Spinei 2003, p. 113.

  • Golden 2003, p. I.63.

  • Pritsak 1975, p. 214.

  • Spinei 2003, p. 114.

  • Spinei 2003, pp. 113-114.

  • Kristó 2003, p. 138.

  • Kristó 2003, p. 144.

  • Atalay 2006, p. I.57.

  • Constantine Porphyrogenitus: De Administrando Imperio (ch. 37), pp. 167., 169.

  • Maḥmūd, Kāshgarī; James Kelly, Kütüphanesi (Istanbul, Turkey) Millet (1982). Türk Şiveleri Lügatı = Dīvānü Luġāt-It-Türk. Duxbury, Mass: Tekin. Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)

  • Constantine Porphyrogenitus: De Administrando Imperio (ch. 37), p. 167.

  • Tania Velmans Three Notes On Miniatures In The Chronicle of Manasses Macedonian Studies

  • V. Klyuchevsky, The course of the Russian history. v.1: "Myslʹ.1987, ISBN 5-244-00072-1

  • Ibn Haukal describes the Pechenegs as the long-standing allies of the Rus', whom they invariably accompanied during the 10th century Caspian expeditions.

  • The chronicler explains the town's name, derived from the Slavic word for "retake", by the fact that Vladimir "retook" the military glory from the Pechenegs.

  • Haldon, John, Warfare, State And Society In The Byzantine World 560-1204, Routledge, 2002, p. 117.

  • Kinnamos, IV, 4, p. 143

  • Chalandon (1907)

  • Ivan Katchanovski, Zenon E. Kohut, Bohdan Y. Nebesio, Myroslav Yurkevich, Historical Dictionary of Ukraine, Scarecrow Press, 2013, p. 439.

  •   end quote from:

  • Pechenegs: Wikipedia

  • Begin:
  • Bashkirs

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    For other uses, see Bashkir (disambiguation).
    Bashkir people.jpg
    Total population
    approx. 2 million[1]
    Regions with significant populations
     Russia: 1,584,554[2]
     Kazakhstan 17,263[3]
    Bashkir, Russian[4]
    Sunni Islam,[5][6]
    Related ethnic groups
    Volga Tatars, Kazakhs
    The Bashkirs (Bashkir: Башҡорттар; Russian: Башкиры) are a Turkic people indigenous to Bashkortostan, extending on both sides of the Ural Mountains, on the place where Eastern Europe meets North Asia. Groups of Bashkirs also live in the Republic of Tatarstan, Perm Krai, Chelyabinsk, Orenburg, Tyumen, Sverdlovsk, Kurgan, Samara and Saratov Oblasts of Russia, as well as in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and other countries.
    Most Bashkirs speak the Bashkir language, which belongs to the Kypchak branch of the Turkic languages and share cultural affinities with the broader Turkic peoples. In religion the Bashkirs are mainly Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi madhhab.



    There are several theories regarding the etymology of the endonym Bashqort.
    • Ethnologist R. G. Kuzeev defines the ethnonym as emanating from "bash" — "main, head" and "qort" — " clan, tribe".
    • According to the theory of 18th-century ethnographers V. N. Tatishchev, P. I. Richkov, and Johann Gottlieb Georgi, the word "Bashqort" means "wolf-leader of the pack" (bash — "main",qort — "wolf").
    • In 1847, the historian V. S. Yumatov suggested the meaning as "beekeeper, beemaster".
    • Russian historian and ethnologist A. E. Alektorov in 1885 suggested that "Bashqort" means "distinct nation".
    • The Turkologist N. A. Baskakov believed that the word "Bashqort" consists of two parts: "badz(a)" – brother-in-law" and "(o)gur" and means "Ugrics' brother-in-law".
    • The historian and archaeologist Mikhail Artamonov has identified the Scythian tribe Bušxk' (or Bwsxk) with the ethnonym of modern Bashkirs. Historian R.H. Hewsen, however, rejects Artamanov's identification and instead identifies the Scythian Bušxk with the Volga Bulgars who were the estern neighbors of the Bashkirs at that time.[7]
    • Ethnologist N. V. Bikbulatov's theory states that the term originates from the name of legendary Khazar warlord Bashgird, who was dwelling with two thousand of his warriors in the area of the Jayıq river.
    • According to Douglas Morton Dunlop: the word "Bashqort" comes from beshgur (or bashgur) which means "five tribes" and, since -sh- in the modern Bashkir language parallels -l- in Bulgar, the names Bashgur and Bulgar are equivalent.
    • Historian and linguist András Róna-Tas believes the ethonym "Bashkir" is a Bulgar Turkic reflex of the Hungarian self-denomination "Magyar" (Old Hungarian: "Majer").
    • Recent ethnographic material collected from the Hormozgan province of Iran has led to the assumption of a possible phonetic relation btween the ethnonym Bashkardi with the selfname of the Bashkirs, giving reasons to suggest ancient Iranian stratum in the Bashkir culture [see for Bashkardi people#Ethnonym & ethnic connections].


    Map of Europe, 600 AD
    Mausoleum of Huseynbek, first Islamic religious leader of Historical Bashkortostan. 14th-century building

    Middle Ages

    Early records on the Bashkirs are found in medieval works by Sallam Tardzheman (9th century) and Ibn-Fadlan (10th century). Al-Balkhi (10th century) described Bashkirs as a people divided into two groups, one inhabiting the Southern Urals, the second group living on the Danube plain near the boundaries of Byzantium——therefore – given the geography and date – referring to either Danube Bulgars or Magyars. Ibn Rustah, a contemporary of Al Balkhi, observed that Bashkirs were an independent people occupying territories on both sides of the Ural mountain ridge between Volga, Kama, and Tobol Rivers and upstream of the Yaik river.
    Achmed ibn-Fadlan visited Volga Bulgaria as a staff member in the embassy of the Caliph of Baghdad in 922. He described them as a belligerent Turk nation. Ibn-Fadlan described the Bashkirs as nature worshipers, identifying their deities as various forces of nature, birds and animals. He also described the religion of acculturated Bashkirs as a variant of Tengrism, including 12 'gods' and naming Tengri – lord of the endless blue sky.
    The first European sources to mention the Bashkirs are the works of Joannes de Plano Carpini and William of Rubruquis in the mid-13th century. These travelers, encountering Bashkir tribes in the upper parts of the Ural River, called them Pascatir or Bastarci, and asserted that they spoke the same language as the Hungarians.
    During the 10th century, Islam spread among the Bashkirs. By the 14th century, Islam had become the dominant religious force in Bashkir society.
    By 1236, Bashkortostan was incorporated into the empire of Genghis Khan.
    During the 13th and 14th centuries, all of Bashkortostan was part of the Golden Horde. The brother of Batu-Khan, Sheibani, received the Bashkir lands to the east of the Ural Mountains – at that time inhabited by the ancestors of contemporary Kurgan Bashkirs.[citation needed]
    During the period of Mongolian-Tatar dominion, some of the Bashkirs became subjects of the Kipchaks.[citation needed] Under the Golden Horde, they were subjected to different elements of the Mongols.[citation needed] After the breakup of the Mongol Empire, the Bashkirs were split between the Kazan Khanate, the Nogay Horde, and Siberian Khanate.[citation needed]

    Early modern period

    Bashkir women dressed in dulbega breast cover and kashmau headdress. 1770–1771.
    In the late 16th and early 19th centuries Bashkirs occupied the territory from the left bank of the Volga on the south-west to the riverheads of Tobol in the east, from the river Sylva in the north, to the middle stream of the Yaik in the south, in the Middle and Southern Urals, in Cis-Urals, including Volga territory and Trans-Urals.
    In the middle of the 16th century, Bashkirs joined the Russian state. Previously they formed parts of the Nogai, Kazan, Sibir, and partly, Astrakhan khanates. Charters of Ivan the Terrible to Bashkir tribes became the basis of their contractual relationship with the tsar’s government. Primary documents pertaining to the Bashkirs during this period have been lost, some are mentioned in the (shezhere) family trees of the Bashkir.
    The Bashkirs rebelled in 1662–64 and 1675–83 and 1705–11. In 1676, the Bashkirs rebelled under a leader named Seyid Sadir or 'Seit Sadurov', and the Russian army had great difficulties in ending the rebellion. The Bashkirs rose again in 1707, under Aldar and Kûsyom, on account of ill-treatment by the Russian officials.

    1735 Bashkir War

    The main settlement area of the Bashkirs in the late 18th century extends over the Kama, Volga, Samara and Tobol Rivers
    Bashkir officers, 1838–1845
    The third insurrection occurred in 1735, at the time of the foundation of Orenburg, and it lasted for six years. From at least the time of Peter the Great there had been talk of pushing southeast toward Persia and India. Ivan Kirillov drew up a plan to build a fort to be called Orenburg at Orsk at the confluence of the Or River and the Ural River southeast of the Urals where the Bashkir, Kalmyk and Kazakh lands join. Work was started at Orsk in 1735, but by 1743 'Orenburg' was moved about 250 km west to its present location. The next planned step was to build a fort on the Aral Sea. This would involve crossing the Bashkir country and then the lands of the Kazakh Lesser Horde, some of whom had recently offered a nominal submission.
    Kirillov's plan was approved on May 1, 1734 and he was placed in command. He was warned that this would provoke a Bashkir rebellion, but the warnings were ignored. He left Ufa with 2,500 men in 1735 and fighting started on the first of July. The war consisted of many small raids and complex troop movements, so it cannot be easily summarized. For example: In the spring of 1736 Kirillov burned 200 villages, killed 700 in battle and executed 158. An expedition of 773 men left Orenburg in November and lost 500 from cold and hunger. During, at Seiantusa the Bashkir planned to massacre sleeping Russian. The ambush failed. One thousand villagers, including women and children, were put to the sword and another 500 driven into a storehouse and burned to death. Raiding parties then went out and burned about 50 villages and killed another 2,000. Eight thousand Bashkirs attacked a Russian camp and killed 158, losing 40 killed and three prisoners who were promptly hanged. Rebellious Bashkirs raided loyal Bashkirs. Leaders who submitted were sometimes fined one horse per household and sometimes hanged.
    Bashkirs fought on both sides (40% of 'Russian' troops in 1740). Numerous leaders rose and fell. The oddest was Karasakal or Blackbeard who pretended to have 82,000 men on the Aral Sea and had his followers proclaim him 'Khan of Bashkiria'. His nose had been partly cut off and he had only one ear. Such mutilations are standard Imperial punishments. The Kazakhs of the Little Horde intervened on the Russian side, then switched to the Bashkirs and then withdrew. Kirillov died of disease during the war and there were several changes of commander. All this was at the time of Empress Anna of Russia and the Russo-Turkish War (1735–1739).
    Although the history of the 1735 Bashkir War cannot be easily summarized, its results can be.
    • The Russian Imperial goal of expansion into Central Asia was delayed to deal with the Bashkir problem.
    • Bashkiria was pacified in 1735–1740.
    • Orenburg was established.
    • The southern side of Bashkiria was fenced off by the Orenburg Line of forts. It ran from Samara on the Volga east up the Samara River to its headwaters, crossed to the middle Ural River and followed it east and then north on the east side of the Urals and went east down the Uy River to Ust-Uisk on the Tobol River where it connected to the ill-defined 'Siberian Line' along the forest-steppe boundary.
    • In 1740 a report was made of Bashkir losses which gave: Killed: 16,893, Sent to Baltic regiments and fleet: 3,236, Women and children distributed (presumably as serfs): 8,382, Grand Total: 28,511. Fines: Horses: 12,283, Cattle and Sheep: 6,076, Money: 9,828 rubles. Villages destroyed: 696. As this was compiled from army reports it excludes losses from irregular raiding, hunger, disease and cold. All this was from an estimated Bashkir population of 100,000.
    Later, in 1774, the Bashkirs, under the leadership of Salavat Yulayev, supported Pugachev's Rebellion. In 1786, the Bashkirs achieved tax-free status; and in 1798 Russia formed an irregular Bashkir army from among them. Residual land ownership disputes continued.
    The Bashkirs lived between the Kama, Volga, Samara and Tobol Rivers. The Samara River extends from the hairpin curve of the Volga east to the base of the Urals. The Tobol is east of the Upper Ural River. Orsk is where the Ural turns westward. The Belaya River with the town of Ufa cuts through the center.


    The area settled by the Bashkirs in the Idel-Ural region according to the national census of 2010.
    Further information: Bashkir language and Bashkortostan
    The ethnic Bashkir population is estimated at roughly 2 million people (2009 SIL Ethnologue), of which about 1.4 million speak the Bashkir language, a Turkic language of the Kypchak group. The Russian census of 2002 recorded 1.38 million Bashkir speakers in the Russian Federation. Most Bashkirs are bilingual in Bashkir and Russian.
    The 2010 Russian census recorded 1,172,287 ethnic Bashkirs in Bashkortostan (29.5% of total population).
    About 50% of Bashkirs are Muslim, 25% are unaffiliated, 11% are atheist, and 2% are pagan. There are also about less than 1% Protestant and Catholic Bashkirs.[8][9]


    The Bashkirs traditionally practiced agriculture, cattle-rearing and bee-keeping. The half-nomadic Bashkirs wandered either the mountains or the steppes, herding cattle.
    Bashkir national dishes include a kind of gruel called öyrä and a cheese named qorot. Wild-hive beekeeping can be named as a separate component of the most ancient culture which is practiced in the same Burzyansky District near to the Shulgan-Tash cave.
    «Ural-batyr» and «Akbuzat» are Bashkir national epics. Their plot concerns struggle of heroes against demonic forces. The peculiarity of them is that events and ceremonies described there can be addressed to a specific geographical and historical object –the Shulgan-Tash cave and its vicinities.


    Caravanserai mosque in Orenburg, cultural monument of the Bashkir people, 1837—1844
    In the pre-Islamic period the Bashkirs were followers of Tengrianism.[10][11]
    Bashkirs began to convert to Islam from in the 9th century.[12] Arab traveler Ibn Fadlan in 921 met some of the Bashkirs, who were Muslims.[13] The final assertion of Islam among the Bashkirs occurred in the 1320s and 1330s (Golden Horde times). On the territory of Bashkortostan preserved the burial place of the first Imam of Historical Bashkortostan — The mausoleum of Hussein-Bek (ru), 14th-century building. In 1788 Catherine the Great established the "Orenburg Mohammedan Spiritual Assembly (ru)" in Ufa, which was the first Muslim administrative center in Russia.
    In yearly 1990s began the religious revival among the Bashkirs.[14] According to Talgat Tadzhuddin there are more than 1,000 mosques in Bashkortostan in 2010.[15]
    The Bashkirs are predominantly Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi madhhab.[5]


    Regarding Y-DNA haplogroups, genetic studies have revealed that most Bashkir males belong to haplogroup R1b (R-M269 and R-M73) which is, on average, found at the frequency of 47,6 %. Following are the haplogroup R1a at the average frequency of 26.5%, and haplogroup N1c at 17%. In lower frequencies were also found haplogroups J2, C, O, E1b, G2a, L, N1b, I, T.[16]
    Most mtDNA haplogroups found in Bashkirs (65%) consist of the haplogroups G, D, С, Z and F; which are lineages characteristic of East Eurasian populations. On the other hand, mtDNA haplogroups characteristic of European and Middle Eastern populations were also found in significant amounts (35%).[17][18]

    Theories of origin

    The Bashkirs, photo by Mikhail Bukar, 1872.
    Because genetic studies have revealed that a majority of Bashkir males belong to Y-DNA Haplogroup R1b, which is otherwise concentrated in Western Europe, this has lent support to theories such as:

    Notable Bashkirs


  • Lewis, M. Paul (ed.) (2009). "Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition.". Dallas, Tex.: SIL International.
    1. See, for example: Will Chang, Chundra Cathcart, David Hall, & Andrew Garrett, 'Ancestry-constrained phylogenetic analysis supports the Indo-European steppe hypothesis', Language, vol. 91, no. 1 (March) 2015, p. 196.


    • Frhn, "De Baskiris", in Mrn. de l'Acad. de St-Pitersbourg, 1822.
    • J. P. Carpini, "Liber Tartarorum", edited under the title "Relations des Mongols ou Tartares", by d'Avezac (Paris, 1838).
    • Semenoff, "Geographical-statistic Dictionary of Russian Empire", 1863.
    • Florinsky, in "Vestnik Evropy" magazine, 1874.
    • Katarinskij, "Dictionnaire Bashkir-Russe", 1900.
    • Gulielmus de Rubruquis, "The Journey of William of Rubruck to the Eastern Parts of the World", translated by V.W. Rockhill (London, 1900).
    • William of Rubruck's "Account of the Mongols", 1900.
    •  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bashkirs". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
    • Alton S. Donnelly, "The Russian Conquest of Bashkiria 1552–1740": Yale Univ. Press, 1968.
    • Summerfield, Stephen Cossack Hurrah: Russian Irregular Cavalry Organisation and Uniforms during the Napoleonic Wars, Partizan Press, 2005 ISBN 1-85818-513-0

    External links

  • "ВПН-2010". Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  • [1] Archived September 14, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  • "8. НАСЕЛЕНИЕ НАИБОЛЕЕ МНОГОЧИСЛЕННЫХ" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  • "Bashkortostan and Bashkirs",
  • "Bashkirs", Great Russian Encyclopedia
  • Peter B. Golden, Haggai Ben-Shammai & András Róna-Tas, The World of the Khazars: New Perspectives, Leiden/Boston, Brill, 2007, pp. 422-423.
  • "Главная страница проекта "Арена" : Некоммерческая Исследовательская Служба "Среда"". Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  • "Numerical analysis" (JPG). Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  • Shireen Hunter, Jeffrey L. Thomas, Alexander Melikishvili, "Islam in Russia: The Politics of Identity and Security", M.E. Sharpe Inc.
  • К вопросу о тенгрианстве башкир // Compatriot, Popular Science Magazine (Russian)
  • Shirin Akiner, "Islamic Peoples Of The Soviet Un", Second edition, 1986
  • Allen J. Frank, "Islamic Historiography and "Bulghar" Identity Among the Tatars and Bashkirs", Brill, 1998
  • Jeffrey E. Cole, "Ethnic Groups of Europe: An Encyclopedia", Greenwood publishing group
  • Интерфакс. Говорить о притеснении ислама в России кощунственно, считает Талгат Таджуддин // Interfax, 17.12.2010
  • Лобов А. С. Структура генофонда субпопуляций башкир. Диссертация кандидата биологических наук. — Уфа, 2009.- 131 с.
  • С. А. Лимборская, Э. К. Хуснутдинова, Е. В. Балановская. Этногеномика и геногеография народов Восточной Европы. Институт молекулярной генетики РАН. Уфимский научный центр. Медико-генетический научный центр РАМН. М. Наука. 2002. С.179-180
  • Антропология башкир/Бермишева М. А., Иванов В. А., Киньябаева Г. А. и др. СПб., Алетейя, 2011, 496 с., С.339.
  •  end quote from:Bashkirs: Wikipedia

    begin: Khazars.


    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      (Redirected from Khazar)
    "Khazar" and "Kazar" redirect here. For other uses, see Khazar (disambiguation).
    Kingdom of Khazaria
    Eastern Tourkia
    Hazar Kağanlığı
    Khazar Khaganate


    Khazar Khaganate, 650–850
    Capital Balanjar (650-720 ca.)
    Samandar (720s-750)
    Atil (750-ca.965-969)
    Languages Turkic Khazar
    Religion Tengriism,
    Religious syncretism[2]
    Political structure Khazar Khaganate
     •  618–628 Tong Yabghu
     •  9th century Bulan
     •  9th century Obadiah
     •  9th century Zachariah
     •  9th century Manasseh
     •  9th century Benjamin
     •  10th century Aaron
     •  10th century Joseph
     •  10th century David
    Historical era Middle Ages
     •  Established 650?
     •  Disestablished 1048?
     •  7th century[3] est. 1,400,000 
    Currency Yarmaq
    History of the Turkic peoples
    History of the Turkic peoples
    Pre-14th century
    Turkic Khaganate 552–744
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    The Khazars (Turkish: Hazarlar, Tatar: Xäzärlär, Hebrew: כוזרים (Kuzarim),[7] Arabic: خزر‎ (khazar), Russian: Хаза́ры, Persian: خزر‎‎, Greek: Χάζαροι, Latin: Gazari[8][9]/Cosri[10]/Gasani[11][12]) were a semi-nomadic Turkic people, who created what for its duration was the most powerful polity to emerge from the breakup of the western Turkish steppe empire, known as the Khazar Khanate or Khazaria.[13] Astride a major artery of commerce between northern Europe and southwestern Asia, Khazaria became one of the foremost trading emporia of the medieval world, commanding the western marches of the Silk Road and played a key commercial role as a crossroad between China, the Middle East and Kievan Rus'.[14][15] For some three centuries (c. 650–965) the Khazars dominated the vast area extending from the Volga-Don steppes to the eastern Crimea and the northern Caucasus.[16]
    Khazaria long served as a buffer state between the Byzantine empire and both the nomads of the northern steppes and the Umayyad empire, after serving as Byzantium's proxy against the Sasanian Persian empire. The alliance was dropped around 900. Byzantium began to encourage the Alans to attack Khazaria and weaken its hold on Crimea and the Caucasus, while seeking to obtain an entente with the rising Rus' power to the north, which it aspired to convert to Christianity.[17] Between 965 and 969, the Kievan Rus ruler Sviatoslav I of Kiev conquered the capital Atil and destroyed the Khazar state.
    Originally, the Khazars were pagan Tengrist worshippers. The populace of the Khazar Khaganate appears to have been multi-confessional—a mosaic of pagan, Tengrist, Jewish, Christian and Muslim worshippers.[18] Beginning in the 8th century, Khazar royalty and notable segments of the aristocracy might have converted to Judaism. Khazar origins for, or suggestions Khazars were absorbed by many peoples, have been made regarding the Slavic Judaising Subbotniks, the Bukharan Jews, the Muslim Kumyks, Kazakhs, the Cossacks of the Don region, the Turkic-speaking Krymchaks and their Crimean neighbours the Karaites to the Moldavian Csángós, the Mountain Jews and others.[19][20][21] A modern theory, that the core of Ashkenazi Jewry emerged from a hypothetical Khazarian Jewish diaspora, is now viewed with scepticism by most scholars,[22] but occasionally supported by others.[23] The theory is sometimes associated with antisemitism[24] and anti-Zionism.[25]



    Gyula Németh, following Zoltán Gombocz, derived Xazar from a hypothetical *Qasar reflecting a Turkic root qaz- ("to ramble, to roam") being an hypothetical velar variant of Common Turkic kez-.[26] With the publication of the fragmentary Tes and Terkhin inscriptions of the Uyğur empire (744-840) where the form 'Qasar' is attested, though uncertainty remains whether this represents a personal or tribal name, gradually other hypotheses emerged. Louis Bazin derived it from Turkic qas- ("tyrannize, oppress, terrorize") on the basis of its phonetic similarity to the Uyğur tribal name, Qasar.[27] András Róna-Tas connects it with Kesar, the Pahlavi transcription of the Roman title Caesar.[28]
    D.M.Dunlop tried to link the Chinese term for "Khazars" to one of the tribal names of the Uyğur Toquz Oğuz, namely the Gésà.[29][30] The objections are that Uyğur Gesa/Qasar was not a tribal name but rather the surname of the chief of the Sikari tribe of the Toquz Oğuz, and that in Middle Chinese the ethnonym "Khazars", always prefaced with the word Tūjué signifying 'Türk' (Tūjué Kěsà bù:突厥可薩部; Tūjué Hésà:突厥曷薩), is transcribed with characters different from those used to render the Qa- in the Uyğur word 'Qasar'.[31][32][33]
    After their conversion it is reported that they adopted the Hebrew script,[34] and it is likely that, though speaking a Türkic language, the Khazar chancellery under Judaism probably corresponded in Hebrew.[35] In Expositio in Matthaeum Evangelistam, Gazari, presumably Khazars, are referred to as the Hunnic people living in the lands of Gog and Magog and said to be circumcised and omnem Judaismum observat observing all the laws of Judaism.


    Main article: Khazar language
    Determining the origins and nature of the Khazars is closely bound with theories of their languages, but it is a matter of intricate difficulty since no indigenous records in the Khazar language survive, and the state itself was polyglot and polyethnic.[36] Whereas the royal or ruling elite probably spoke an eastern variety of Shaz Turkic, the subject tribes appear to have spoken varieties of Lir Turkic, such as Oğuric, a language variously identified with Bulğaric, Chuvash, and Hungarian (the latter based upon the assertion of the Persian historian al-Iṣṭakhrī that the Khazar language was different from any other known tongue).[37][38] One method for tracing their origins consists in analysis of the possible etymologies behind the ethnonym Khazar itself.


    Tribal origins and early history

    The tribes[39] that were to comprise the Khazar empire were not an ethnic union, but a congeries of steppe nomads and peoples who came to be subordinated, and subscribed to a core Tűrkic leadership.[40] Many Tűrkic groups, such as the Oğuric peoples, including Šarağurs, Oğurs, Onoğurs, and Bulğars who earlier formed part of the Tiĕlè (鐵勒) confederation, are attested quite early, having been driven West by the Sabirs, who in turn fled the Asian Avars, and began to flow into the Volga-Caspian-Pontic zone from as early as the 4th century CE and are recorded by Priscus to reside in the Western Eurasian steppelands as early as 463.[41][42] They appear to stem from Mongolia and South Siberia in the aftermath of the fall of the Hunnic/Xiōngnú nomadic polities. A variegated tribal federation led by these Tűrks, probably comprising a complex assortment of Iranian,[43] proto-Mongolic, Uralic, and Palaeo-Siberian clans, vanquished the Rouran Khaganate of the hegemonic central Asian Avars in 552 and swept westwards, taking in their train other steppe nomads and peoples from Sogdiana.[44]
    The ruling family of this confederation may have hailed from the Āshǐnà (阿史那) clan of the West Türkic tribes,[45] though Constantine Zuckerman regards Āshǐnà and their pivotal role in the formation of the Khazars with scepticism.[46] Golden notes that Chinese and Arabic reports are almost identical, making the connection a strong one, and conjectures that their leader may have been Yǐpíshèkuì (Chinese:乙毗射匱), who lost power or was killed around 651.[47] Moving west, the confederation reached the land of the Akatziroi,[48] who had been important allies of Byzantium in fighting off Attila's army.

    Rise of the Khazar state

    An embryonic state of Khazaria began to form sometime after 630,[49] when it emerged from the breakdown of the larger Göktürk Qağanate. Göktürk armies had penetrated the Volga by 549, ejecting the Avars, who were then forced to flee to the sanctuary of the Hungarian plain. The Āshǐnà clan whose tribal name was 'Türk' (the strong one) appear on the scene by 552, when they overthrew the Rourans and established the Göktürk Qağanate.[50] By 568, these Göktürks were probing for an alliance with Byzantium to attack Persia. An internecine war broke out between the senior eastern Göktürks and the junior West Turkic Qağanate some decades later, when on the death of Taspar Qağan, a succession dispute led to a dynastic crisis between Taspar's chosen heir, the Apa Qağan, and the ruler appointed by the tribal high council, Āshǐnà Shètú (阿史那摄图), the Ishbara Qağan.
    By the first decades of the 7th century, the Āshǐnà yabgu Tong managed to stabilize the Western division, but upon his death, after providing crucial military assistance to Byzantium in routing the Sasanian army in the Persian heartland,[51][52] the Western Turkic Qağanate dissolved under pressure from the encroaching Tang dynasty armies and split into two competing federations, each consisting of five tribes, collectively known as the "Ten Arrows" (On Oq). Both briefly challenged Tang hegemony in eastern Turkestan. To the West, two new nomadic states arose in the meantime, Old Great Bulgaria under Kubrat, the Duōlù clan leader, and the Nǔshībì subconfederation, also consisting of five tribes.[53] The Duōlù challenged the Avars in the Kuban River-Sea of Azov area while the Khazar Qağanate consolidated further westwards, led apparently by an Āshǐnà dynasty. With a resounding victory over the tribes in 657, engineered by General Sū Dìngfāng (蘇定方), Chinese overlordship was imposed to their East after a final mop-up operation in 659, but the two confederations of Bulğars and Khazars fought for supremacy on the western steppeland, and with the ascendency of the latter, the former either succumbed to Khazar rule or, as under Asparukh, Kubrat's son, shifted even further west across the Danube to lay the foundations of the Bulğar state in the Balkans (c. 679).[54][55]
    The Qağanate of the Khazars thus took shape out of the ruins of this nomadic empire as it broke up under pressure from the Tang dynasty armies to the east sometime between 630-650.[47] After their conquest of the lower Volga region to the East and an area westwards between the Danube and the Dniepr, and their subjugation of the Onoğur-Bulğar union, sometime around 670, a properly constituted Khazar Qağanate emerges,[56] becoming the westernmost successor state of the formidable Göktürk Qağanate after its disintegration. According to Omeljan Pritsak, the language of the Onoğur-Bulğar federation was to become the lingua franca of Khazaria[57] as it developed into what Lev Gumilev called a 'steppe Atlantis' (stepnaja Atlantida/ Степная Атлантида).[58] The high status soon to be accorded this empire to the north is attested by Ibn al-Balḫî's Fârsnâma (c. 1100), which relates that the Sasanian Shah, Ḫusraw 1, Anûsîrvân, placed three thrones by his own, one for the King of China, a second for the King of Byzantium, and a third for the king of the Khazars. Though anachronistic in retrodating the Khazars to this period, the legend, in placing the Khazar qağan on a throne with equal status to kings of the other two superpowers, bears witness to the reputation won by the Khazars from early times.[59][60]

    Khazar state: culture and institutions

    Royal Diarchy with sacral Qağanate

    Khazaria developed [61] a Dual kingship governance structure, typical among Turkic nomads, consisting of a shad/bäk and a qağan,.[62] The emergence of this system may be deeply entwined with the conversion to Judaism.[63] According to Arabic sources, the lesser king was called îšâ and the greater king Khazar xâqân; the former managed commanded the military, while the greater king's role was primarily sacral, less concerned with daily affairs. The greater king was recruited from the Khazar house of notables (ahl bait ma'rûfīn) and, in an initiation ritual, was nearly strangled until he declared the number of years he wished to reign, on the expiration of which he would be killed by the nobles.[64][65][66][67] The deputy ruler would enter the presence of the reclusive greater king only with great ceremony, approaching him barefoot to prostrate himself in the dust and then light a piece of wood as a purifying fire, while waiting humbly and calmly to be summoned.[68] Particularly elaborate rituals accompanied a royal burial. At one period, travellers had to dismount, bow before the ruler's tomb, and then walk away on foot.[69] Subsequently, the charismatic sovereign's burial place was hidden from view, with a palatial structure ('Paradise') constructed and then hidden under rerouted river water to avoid disturbance by evil spirits and later generations. Such a royal burial ground (qoruq) is typical of inner Asian peoples.[70] Both the îšâ and the xâqân converted to Judaism sometime in the 8th century, while the rest, according to the Persian traveller Ahmad ibn Rustah, probably followed the old Tūrkic religion.[71][72]

    Ruling elite

    Warrior with his captive from the Treasure of Nagyszentmiklós. Experts cannot agree if this warrior represents a Khazar, Pannonian Avar, or Bulgar.
    The ruling stratum, like that of the later Činggisids within the Golden Horde, was a relatively small group that differed ethnically and linguistically from its subject peoples. This is thought to have been the Alano-As and Oğuric Turkic tribes, who were numerically superior within Khazaria.[73] The Khazar Qağans, while taking wives and concubines from the subject populations, were protected by a Khwârazmian guard corps or comitatus called the Ursiyya.[74][75] But unlike many other local polities, they hired soldiers (mercenaries) (the junûd murtazîqa in al-Mas'ûdî).[76] At the peak of their empire, the Khazars ran a centralised fiscal administration, with a standing army of some 7-12,000 men, which could, at need, be multiplied two or three times that number by inducting reserves from their nobles' retinues.[77][78] Other figures for the permanent standing army indicate that it numbered as many as one hundred thousand. They controlled and exacted tribute from 25-30 different nations and tribes inhabiting the vast territories between the Caucasus, the Aral Sea, the Ural Mountains, and the Ukrainian steppes.[79] Khazar armies were led by the Qağan Bek (pronounced as Kagan Bek) and commanded by subordinate officers known as tarkhans. When the bek sent out a body of troops, they would not retreat under any circumstances. If they were defeated, every one who returned was killed.[80]
    Settlements were governed by administrative officials known as tuduns. In some cases, such as the Byzantine settlements in southern Crimea, a tudun would be appointed for a town nominally within another polity's sphere of influence. Other officials in the Khazar government included dignitaries referred to by ibn Fadlan as Jawyshyghr and Kündür, but their responsibilities are unknown.


    It has been estimated that from 25 to 28 distinct ethnic groups made up the population of the Khazar Qağanate, aside from the ethnic elite. The ruling elite seems to have been constituted out of nine tribes/clans, themselves ethnically heterogeneous, spread over perhaps nine provinces or principalities, each of which would have been allocated to a clan.[65] In terms of caste or class, some evidence suggests that there was a distinction, whether racial or social is unclear, between "White Khazars" (ak-Khazars) and "Black Khazars" (qara-Khazars).[65] The 10th-century Muslim geographer al-Iṣṭakhrī claimed that the White Khazars were strikingly handsome with reddish hair, white skin, and blue eyes, while the Black Khazars were swarthy, verging on deep black, as if they were "some kind of Indian".[81] Many Turkic nations had a similar (political, not racial) division between a "white" ruling warrior caste and a "black" class of commoners; the consensus among mainstream scholars is that Istakhri was confused by the names given to the two groups.[82] However, Khazars are generally described by early Arab sources as having a white complexion, blue eyes, and reddish hair.[83][84] The name of the presumed founding Āshǐnà clan itself may reflect an etymology suggestive of a darkish colour.[85][86] The distinction appears to have survived the collapse of the Khazarian empire. Later Russian chronicles, commenting on the role of the Khazars in the magyarization of Hungary, refer to them as "White Oghurs" and Magyars as "Black Ogurs".[87] Studies of the physical remains, such as skulls at Sarkel, have revealed a mixture of Slavic, other European, and a few Mongolian types.[88]


    The import and export of foreign wares, and the revenues derived from taxing their transit, was a key hallmark of the Khazar economy, though it is said also to have produced isinglass.[89] Distinctively among the nomadic steppe polities, the Khazar Qağanate developed a self-sufficient domestic Saltovo[90] economy, a combination of traditional pastoralism - allowing sheep and cattle to be exported - extensive agriculture, abundant use of the Volga's rich fishing stocks, together with craft manufacture, with a diversification in lucrative returns from taxing international trade given its pivotal control of major trade routes. The Khazars constituted one of the two great furnishers of slaves to the Muslim market (the other being the Iranian Sâmânid amîrs), supplying it with captured Slavs and tribesmen from the Eurasian northlands.[91] It was profits from the latter which enabled it to maintain a standard army of Khwarezm Muslim troops. The capital Atil reflected the division: Kharazān on the western bank where the king and his Khazar elite, with a retinue of some 4,000 attendants, dwelt, and Itil proper to the East, inhabited by Jews, Christians, Muslims and slaves and by craftsmen and foreign merchants.[92] The ruling elite wintered in the city and spent from spring to late autumns in their fields. A large irrigated greenbelt, drawing on channels from the Volga river, lay outside the capital, where meadows and vineyards extended for some 20 farsakhs (ca. 60 miles?).[93] While customs duties were imposed on traders, and tribute and tithes were exacted from 25-30 tribes, with a levy of one sable skin, squirrel pelt, sword, dirham per hearth or ploughshare, or hides, wax, honey and livestock, depending on the zone. Trade disputes were handled by a commercial tribunal in Atil consisting of 7 judges, two for each of the monotheistic inhabitants (Jews, Muslims, Christians) and one for the pagans.[94]

    Khazars and Byzantium

    Byzantine diplomatic policy towards the steppe peoples generally consisted of encouraging them to fight among themselves. The Pechenegs provided great assistance to the Byzantines in the 9th century in exchange for regular payments.[95] Byzantium also sought alliances with the Göktürks against common enemies: in the early 7th century, one such alliance was brokered with the Western Tűrks against the Persian Sasanians in the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628. The Byzantines called Khazaria Tourkía, and by the 9th. century refers to the Khazars as 'Turks'.[96] During the period leading up to and after the siege of Constantinople in 626, Heraclius sought help via emissaries, and eventually personally, from a Göktürk chieftain[97] of the Western Tűrkic Qağanate, Tong Yabghu Qağan, in Tiflis, plying him with gifts and the promise of marriage to his daughter, Epiphania.[98] Tong Yabghu responded by sending a large force to ravage the Persian empire, marking the start of the Third Perso-Turkic War.[99] A joint Byzantine-Tűrk operation breached the Caspian gates and sacked Derbent in 627. Together they then besieged Tiflis, where the Byzantines used traction trebuchets (ἑλέπόλεις) to breach the walls, one of their first known uses by the Byzantines.[citation needed] After the campaign, Tong Yabghu is reported, perhaps with some exaggeration, to have left some 40,000 troops behind with Heraclius.[100] Though occasionally identified with Khazars, the Göktürk identification is more probable since the Khazars only emerged from that group after the fragmentation of the former sometime after 630.[49] Sasanian Persia never recovered from the devastating defeat wrought by this invasion.[101]
    Khazar Khaganate and surrounding states, c. 820 (area of direct Khazar control in dark blue, sphere of influence in purple).
    Once the Khazars emerged as a power, the Byzantines also began to form alliances, dynastic and military, with them. In 695, the last Heraclian emperor, Justinian II, nicknamed the slit-nosed (ὁ ῥινότμητος) after he was mutilated and deposed, was exiled to Cherson in the Crimea, where a Khazar governor (tudun) presided. He escaped into Khazar territory in 704 or 705 and was given asylum by qağan Busir Glavan (Ἰβουζήρος Γλιαβάνος), who gave him his sister in marriage, perhaps in response to an offer by Justinian who may have thought a dynastic marriage would seal by kinship a powerful tribal support for his attempts to regain the throne.[102] The Khazarian spouse thereupon changed her name to Theodora.[103] Busir was offered a bribe by the Byzantine usurper, Tiberius III, to kill Justinian. Warned by Theodora, Justinian escaped, murdering two Khazar officials in the process. He fled to Bulgaria, whose Khan Tervel helped him regain the throne. Upon his reinstallment, and despite Busir's treachery during his exile, he sent for Theodora; Busir complied, and she was crowned as Augusta, suggesting that both prized the alliance.[104]
    Decades later, Leo III (ruled 717-741) made a similar alliance to coordinate strategy against a common enemy, the Muslim Arabs. He sent an embassy to the Khazar qağan Bihar and married his son, the future Constantine V (ruled 741-775), to Bihar's daughter, a princess referred to as Tzitzak, in 732. On converting to Christianity, she took the name Irene. Constantine and Irene had a son, the future Leo IV (775-780), who thereafter bore the sobriquet, "the Khazar".[105][106] Leo died in mysterious circumstances after his Athenian wife bore him a son, Constantine VI, who on his majority co-ruled with his mother, the dowager. He proved unpopular, and his death ended the dynastic link of the Khazars to the Byzantine throne.[citation needed] By the 8th century, Khazars dominated the Crimea (650-c.950), and even extended their influence into the Byzantine peninsula of Cherson until it was wrested back in the 10th century.[107] Khazar and Farghânian (Φάργανοι) mercenaries constituted part of the imperial Byzantine Hetaireia bodyguard after its formation in 840, a position that could openly be purchased by a payment of 7 pounds of gold.[108][109]

    Arab–Khazar wars

    Main article: Arab–Khazar Wars
    During the 7th and 8th centuries, the Khazars fought a series of wars against the Umayyad Caliphate and its Abbasid successor. The First Arab-Khazar War began during the first phase of Muslim expansion. By 640, Muslim forces had reached Armenia; in 642 they launched their first raid across the Caucasus under Abd ar-Rahman ibn Rabiah. In 652 Arab forces advanced on the Khazar capital, Balanjar, but were defeated, suffering heavy losses; according to Persian historians such as al-Tabari, both sides in the battle used catapults against the opposing troops. A number of Russian sources give the name of a Khazar khagan from this period as Irbis and describe him as a scion of the Göktürk royal house, the Ashina. Whether Irbis ever existed is open to debate, as is whether he can be identified with one of the many Göktürk rulers of the same name.
    Due to the outbreak of the First Muslim Civil War and other priorities, the Arabs refrained from repeating an attack on the Khazars until the early 8th century.[110] The Khazars launched a few raids into Transcaucasian principalities under Muslim dominion, including a large-scale raid in 683–685 during the Second Muslim Civil War that rendered much booty and many prisoners.[111] There is evidence from the account of al-Tabari that the Khazars formed a united front with the remnants of the Göktürks in Transoxiana.
    Caucasus region, c. 750
    The Second Arab-Khazar War began with a series of raids across the Caucasus in the early 8th century. The Umayyads tightened their grip on Armenia in 705 after suppressing a large-scale rebellion. In 713 or 714, Umayyad general Maslamah conquered Derbent and drove deeper into Khazar territory. The Khazars launched raids in response into Albania and Iranian Azerbaijan but were driven back by the Arabs under Hasan ibn al-Nu'man.[112] The conflict escalated in 722 with an invasion by 30,000 Khazars into Armenia inflicting a crushing defeat. Caliph Yazid II responded, sending 25,000 Arab troops north, swiftly driving the Khazars back across the Caucasus, recovering Derbent, and advancing on Balanjar. The Arabs broke through the Khazar defense and stormed the city; most of its inhabitants were killed or enslaved, but a few managed to flee north.[111] Despite their success, the Arabs had not yet defeated the Khazar army, and they retreated south of the Caucasus.
    In 724, Arab general al-Jarrah ibn Abdallah al-Hakami inflicted a crushing defeat on the Khazars in a long battle between the rivers Cyrus and Araxes, then moved on to capture Tiflis, bringing Caucasian Iberia under Muslim suzerainty. The Khazars struck back in 726, led by a prince named Barjik, launching a major invasion of Albania and Azerbaijan; by 729, the Arabs had lost control of northeastern Transcaucasia and were thrust again into the defensive. In 730, Barjik invaded Iranian Azerbaijan and defeated Arab forces at Ardabil, killing the general al-Djarrah al-Hakami and briefly occupying the town. Barjik was defeated and killed the next year at Mosul, where he directed Khazar forces from a throne mounted with al-Djarrah's severed head. Arab armies led first by the prince Maslamah ibn Abd al-Malik and then by Marwan ibn Muhammad (later Caliph Marwan II) poured across the Caucasus and in 737 defeated a Khazar army led by Hazer Tarkhan, briefly occupying Atil itself. The Qağan was forced to accept terms involving conversion to Islam, and to subject himself to the Caliphate, but the accommodation was short-lived as a combination of internal instability among the Umayyads and Byzantine support undid the agreement within three years, and the Khazars re-asserted their independence.[113] The adoption of Judaism by the Khazars, which in this theory would have taken place around 740, may have been part of this re-assertion of independence.
    Whatever the impact of Marwan's campaigns, warfare between the Khazars and the Arabs ceased for more than two decades after 737. Arab raids continued until 741, but their control in the region was limited as maintaining a large garrison at Derbent further depleted the already overstretched army. A third Muslim civil war soon broke out, leading to the Abbasid Revolution and the fall of the Umayyad dynasty in 750.
    In 758, the Abbasid Caliph al-Mansur attempted to strengthen diplomatic ties with the Khazars, ordering Yazid ibn Usayd al-Sulami, one of his nobles and the military governor of Armenia, to take a royal Khazar bride. Yazid married a daughter of Khazar Khagan Baghatur, but she died inexplicably, possibly in childbirth. Her attendants returned home, convinced that some Arab faction had poisoned her, and her father was enraged. Khazar general Ras Tarkhan invaded south of the Caucasus in 762–764, devastating Albania, Armenia, and Iberia, and capturing Tiflis. Thereafter relations became increasingly cordial between the Khazars and the Abbasids, whose foreign policies were generally less expansionist than the Umayyads, broken only by a series of raids in 799 over another failed marriage alliance.

    Rise of the Rus' and the collapse of the Khazarian state

    Trade routes of the Black Sea region, 8th-11th centuries
    By the 9th century, groups of Varangian Rus', developing a powerful warrior-merchant system, began probing south down the waterways controlled by the Khazars and their protectorate, the Volga Bulgarians, partially in pursuit of the Arab silver which flowed north for hoarding through the Khazarian-Volga Bulgarian trading zones,[114] partially to trade in furs and ironwork.[115] Northern mercantile fleets passing Atil were tithed, as they were at Byzantine Cherson.[116] Their presence may have prompted the formation of a Rus' state by convincing the Slavs, Merja and the Chud' to unite to protect common interests against Khazarian exactions of tribute. It is often argued that a Rus' Khaganate modelled on the Khazarian state had formed to the east, and that the Varangian chieftain of the coalition appropriated the title of qağan (khagan) as early as the 830s: the title survived to denote the princes of Kievan Rus', whose capital, Kiev, is often associated with a Khazarian foundation.[117][118][119][120] The construction of the Sarkel fortress, with technical assistance from Khazaria's Byzantine ally at the time, together with the minting of an autonomous Khazar coinage around the 830s may have been a defensive measure against emerging threats from Varangians to the north and from the Magyars on the eastern steppe.[121][122] By 860, the Rus' had penetrated as far as Kiev and, via the Dnieper, Constantinople.[123]
    Site of the Khazar fortress at Sarkel (aerial photo from excavations conducted by Mikhail Artamonov in the 1950s).
    Alliances often shifted. Byzantium, threatened by Varangian Rus raiders, would assist Khazaria, and Khazaria at times allowed the northerners to pass through their territory in exchange for a portion of the booty.[124] From the beginning of the 10th century, the Khazars found themselves fighting on multiple fronts as nomadic incursions were exacerbated by uprisings by former clients and invasions from former allies. The pax Khazarica was caught in a pincer movement between steppe Pechenegs and the strengthing of an emergent Rus' power to the north, both undermining Khazaria'ìs tributary empire.[125] According to the Schechter Text, the Khazar ruler King Benjamin, ca.880-890 fought a battle against the allied forces of five lands whose moves were perhaps encouraged by Byzantium[126] Though Benjamin was victorious, his son Aaron II faced another invasion, this time led by the Alans, whose leader had converted to Christianity and entered into an alliance with Byzantium, which, under Leo VI the Wise, encouraged them to fight against the Khazars.
    By the 880s, Khazar control of the Middle Dnieper from Kiev, where they collected tribute from Eastern Slavic tribes, began to wane as Oleg of Novgorod wrested control of the city from the Varangian warlords Askold and Dir, and embarked on what was to prove to be the foundation of a Rus' empire.[127] The Khazars had initially allowed the Rus' to use the trade route along the Volga River, and raid southwards. According to al-Masudi, the qağan is said to have given his assent on the condition that the Rus' give him half of the booty.[124] In 913, however, two years after Byzantium concluded a peace treaty with the Rus' (911). A Varangian foray, with Khazar connivance, through Arab lands led to a request to the Khazar throne by the Khwârazmian Islamic guard for permission to retaliate against the large Rus' contingent on its return. The purpose was to revenge the violence the Rus' razzia had inflicted on their fellow Muslim believers.[128] The Rus' force was thoroughly routed and massacred.[124] The Khazar rulers closed the passage down the Volga to the Rus', sparking a war. In the early 960s, Khazar ruler Joseph wrote to Hasdai ibn Shaprut about the deterioration of Khazar relations with the Rus': 'I protect the mouth of the river (Itil-Volga) and prevent the Rus arriving in their ships from setting off by sea against the Ishmaelites and (equally) all (their) enemies from setting off by land to Bab. '[129]
    Sviatoslav I of Kiev (in boat), destroyer of the Khazar Khaganate.[130]
    The Rus' warlords launched several wars against the Khazar Qağanate, and raided down to the Caspian sea. The Schechter Letter relates the story of a campaign against Khazaria by HLGW (recently identified as Oleg of Chernigov) around 941 in which Oleg was defeated by the Khazar general Pesakh.[131] The Khazar alliance with the Byzantine empire began to collapse in the early 10th century. Byzantine and Khazar forces may have clashed in the Crimea, and by the 940s emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus was speculating in De Administrando Imperio about ways in which the Khazars could be isolated and attacked. The Byzantines during the same period began to attempt alliances with the Pechenegs and the Rus', with varying degrees of success. Sviatoslav I finally succeeded in destroying Khazar imperial power in the 960s, in a circular sweep that overwhelmed the Khazar fortresses like Sarkel and Tamatarkha, reached as far as the Caucasian Kassogians/Circassians and then back to Kiev.[132] Sarkel fell in 965, with the capital city of Atil following, c. 968 or 969.
    In the Russian chronicle the vanquishing of the Khazar traditions is associated with Vladimir's conversion in 986.[133] According to the Primary Chronicle, in 986 Khazar Jews were present at Vladimir's disputation to decide on the prospective religion of the Kievian Rus'.[citation needed] Whether these were Jews who had settled in Kiev or emissaries from some Jewish Khazar remnant state is unclear. Conversion to one of the faiths of the people of Scripture was a precondition to any peace treaty with the Arabs, whose Bulgar envoys had arrived in Kiev after 985.[134]
    A visitor to Atil wrote soon after the sacking of the city that its vineyards and garden had been razed, that not a grape or raisin remained in the land, and not even alms for the poor were available.[135] An attempt to rebuild may have been undertaken, since Ibn Hawqal and al-Muqaddasi refer to it after that date, but by Al-Biruni's time (1048) it was in ruins.[136]

    Aftermath: impact, decline and dispersion

    Though Poliak argued that the Khazar kingdom did not wholly succumb to Sviatoslav's campaign, but lingered on until 1224, when the Mongols invaded Rus',[137][138] by most accounts, the Rus'-Oghuz campaigns left Khazaria devastated, with perhaps many Khazarian Jews in flight,[139] and leaving behind at best a minor rump state. It left little trace, except for some placenames,[140] and much of its population was undoubtedly absorbed in successor hordes.[141] Al-Muqaddasi, writing ca.985, mentions Khazar beyond the Caspian sea as a district of 'woe and squalor', with honey, many sheep and Jews.[142] Kedrenos mentions a joint Rus'-Byzantine attack on Khazaria in 1016, which defeated its ruler Georgius Tzul. The name suggests Christian affiliations. The account concludes by saying, that after Tzul's defeat, the Khazar ruler of "upper Media", Senaccherib, had to sue for peace and submission.[143] In 1024 Mstislav of Chernigov (one of Vladimir's sons) marched against his brother Yaroslav with an army that included "Khazars and Kassogians" in a repulsed attempt to restore a kind of 'Khazarian'-type dominion over Kiev.[132]Ibn al-Athir's mention of a 'raid of Faḍlūn the Kurd against the Khazars' in 1030 CE, in which 10,000 of his men were vanquished by the latter, has been taken (by ) as a reference to such a Khazar remnant, but Barthold identified this Faḍlūn as Faḍl ibn Muḥammad and the 'Khazars' as either Georgians or Abkhazians.[144][145] A Kievian prince named Oleg, grandson of Jaroslav was reportedly kidnapped by "Khazars" in 1079 and shipped off to Constantinople, although most scholars believe that this is a reference to the Cumans-Kipchaks or other steppe peoples then dominant in the Pontic region. Upon his conquest of Tmutarakan in the 1080s Oleg Sviatoslavich, son of a prince of Chernigov, gave himself the title "Archon of Khazaria".[132] In 1083 Oleg is said to have exacted revenge on the Khazars after his brother Roman was killed by their allies, the Polovtsi/Cumans. After one more conflict with these Polovtsi in 1106, the Khazars fade from history.[143]
    By the end of the 12th century, Petachiah of Ratisbon reported traveling through what he called "Khazaria", and had little to remark on other than describing its minim (sectaries) living amidst desolation in perpetual mourning.[146] The reference seems to be to Karaites.[147] The Franciscan missionary William of Rubruck likewise found only impoverished pastures in the lower Volga area where Ital once lay.[93] Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, the papal legate to the court of the Mongol Khan Guyuk at that time, mentioned an otherwise unattested Jewish tribe, the Brutakhi, perhaps in the Volga region. Though connections are made to the Khazars, the link is based merely on a common attribution of Judaism.[148]
    The Pontic steppes, c. 1015 (areas in blue possibly still under Khazar control).
    The 10th century Zoroastrian Dênkart registered the collapse of Khazar power in attributing its eclipse to the enfeebling effects of 'false' religion.[149] The decline was contemporary to that suffered by the Transoxiana Sāmānid empire to the east, both events paving the way for the rise of the Great Seljuq Empire, whose founding traditions mention Khazar connections.[150][151] Whatever successor entity survived, it could not longer function as a bulwark against the pressure east and south of nomad expansions. By 1043, Kimeks and Qipchaqs, thrusting westwards, pressured the Oğuz, who in turn pushed the Pechenegs west towards Byzantium's Balkan provinces.[152]
    Khazaria nonetheless left its mark on the rising states and some of their traditions and institutions. Much earlier, Tzitzak, the Khazar wife of Leo III introduced into the Byzantine court the distinctive kaftan or riding habit of the nomadic Khazars, the tzitzakion (τζιτζάκιον), and this was adopted as a solemn element of imperial dress.[153] The orderly hierarchical system of succession by 'scales' (lestvichnaia sistema:лествичная система) to the Grand Principate of Kiev was arguably modeled on Khazar institutions, via the example of the Rus' Khaganate.[154]
    The proto-Hungarian Pontic tribe, while perhaps threatening Khazaria as early as 839 (Sarkel), developed its institutional models, such as the dual rule of a ceremonial kende-kündü and a gyula administering practical and military administration, under Khazar tutelage. A dissident group of Khazars, the Qabars, joined the Hungarians in their flight from the Pechenegs as they moved into Pannonia. Elements within the Hungarian population can be viewed as perpetuating Khazar traditions as a successor state. Byzantine sources refer to Hungary as Western Tourkia in contrast to Khazaria, Eastern Tourkia. The gyula line produced the kings of medieval Hungary through descent from Árpád, while the Qabars retained their traditions longer, and were known as "black Hungarians" (fekete magyarság). Some archeological evidence from Čelarevo suggests the Qabars practiced Judaism[155][156][157] since warrior graves with Jewish symbols were found there, including menorahs, shofars, etrogs, lulavs, candlesnuffers, ash collectors, inscriptions in Hebrew, and a six-pointed star identical to the Star of David.[158][159]
    Seal discovered in excavations at Khazar sites, whose symbolic significance is uncertain.[160]
    The Khazar state was, Oppenheim says, the only Jewish state to rise between the Fall of the Second Temple (67-70 CE) and the establishment of Israel (1948),[161] and its example stimulated messianic aspirations for a return to Israel as early as Judah Halevi.[162] In the time of the Egyptian vizier Al-Afdal Shahanshah (d.1121), one Solomon ben Duji, often identified as a Khazarian Jew,[163] attempted to stir up a messianic effort for the liberation of, and return of all Jews to, Palestine. He wrote to many Jewish communities to enlist support. He eventually moved to Kurdistan where his son Menachem some decades later assumed the title of Messiah and, raising an army for this purpose, took the fortress of Amadiya north of Mosul. His project was opposed by the rabbinical authorities and he was poisoned in his sleep. One theory maintains that the Star of David, until then a decorative motif or magical emblem, began to assume its national value in late Jewish tradition from its earlier symbolic use by Menachem.[164]
    The word Khazar, as an ethnonym, was last used in the 13th century by a people in the North Caucasus believed to practice Judaism.[165] The nature of a hypothetical Khazar diaspora, Jewish or otherwise, is disputed. Avraham ibn Daud mentions encountering rabbinical students descended from Khazars as far away as Toledo, Spain in the 1160s.[166] Khazar communities persisted here and there. Many Khazar mercenaries served in the armies of the Islamic Caliphates and other states. Documents from medieval Constantinople attest to a Khazar community mingled with the Jews of the suburb of Pera.[167] Khazar merchants were active in both Constantinople and Alexandria in the 12th. century.[168]



    Main article: Tengriism
    Direct sources for Khazar religion are not many, but in all likelihood they originally practiced a traditional Turkic form of cultic practices known as Tengriism, which focused on the sky god Tengri. Something of its nature may be deduced from what we know of the rites and beliefs of contiguous tribes, such as the North Caucasian Huns. Horse sacrifices were made to this supreme deity. Rites involved offerings to fire, water, and the moon, to remarkable creatures, and to "gods of the road" (cf. Old Türk yol tengri, perhaps a god of fortune). Sun amulets were widespread as cultic ornaments. A tree cult was also maintained. Whatever was struck by lightning, man or object, was considered a sacrifice to the high god of heaven. The afterlife, to judge from excavations of aristocratic tumuli, was much a continuation of life on earth, warriors being interred with their weapons, horses, and sometimes with human sacrifices: the funeral of one tudrun in 711-12 saw 300 soldiers killed to accompany him to the otherworld. Ancestor worship was observed. The key religious figure appears to have been a shamanizing qam,[169] and it was these (qozmím) that were, according to the Khazar Hebrew conversion stories, driven out.
    Many sources suggest, and a notable number of scholars have argued, that the charismatic Āshǐnà clan played a germinal role in the early Khazar state, though Zuckerman dismisses the widespread notion of their pivotal role as a 'phantom'. The Āshǐnà were closely associated with the Tengri cult, whose practices involved rites performed to assure a tribe of heaven's protective providence.[170] The qağan was deemed to rule by virtue of qut, "the heavenly mandate/good fortune to rule."[171]


    Khazaria long served as a buffer state between the Byzantine empire and both the nomads of the northern steppes and the Umayyad empire, after serving as Byzantium's proxy against the Sasanian Persian empire. The alliance was dropped around 900. Byzantium began to encourage the Alans to attack Khazaria and weaken its hold on Crimea and the Caucasus, while seeking to obtain an entente with the rising Rus' power to the north, which it aspired to convert to Christianity.[17]
    On Khazaria's southern flank, both Islam and Byzantine Christianity were proselytising great powers. Byzantine success in the north was sporadic, though Armenian and Albanian missions from Derbend built churches extensively in maritime Daghestan, then a Khazar district,[172] Buddhism also had exercised an attraction on leaders of both the Eastern (552-742) and Western Qağanates (552-659), the latter being the progenitor of the Khazar state.[173] In 682, according to the Armenian chronicle of Movsês Dasxuranc'i, the king of Caucasian Albania, Varaz Trdat, dispatched a bishop Israyêl to convert Caucasian "Huns" who were subject to the Khazars, and managed to bring Alp Ilut'uêr, a son-in-law of the Khazar qağan, and his army, to abandon their shamanizing cults and join the Christian fold.[174][175]
    The Arab Georgian martyr St Abo, who converted to Christianity within the Khazar kingdom around 779-80, describes local Khazars as irreligious.[176] Some reports register a Christian majority at Samandar,[177] or Muslim majorities[178]


    The Khazar so-called "Moses coin" found in the Spillings Hoard and dated c. 800. It is inscribed with "Moses is the messenger of God" instead of the usual Muslim text "Muhammad is the messenger of God".
    The conversion of Khazars to Judaism, though doubts persist,[179] is reported overwhelmingly by external sources and in the Khazar Correspondence, Hebrew documents whose authenticity was long doubted and challenged,[180] but specialists now widely accept them either as authentic or as reflecting internal Khazar traditions.[181][182][183][184] Archaeological evidence for conversion, on the other hand, remains elusive,[185] and may reflect either the incompleteness of excavations, or that the stratum of actual adherents was thin.[186] Conversion of steppe or peripheral tribes to a universal religion is fairly well attested phenomenon,[187] and the Khazar conversion to Judaism, though unusual, was not unique.[188] A few scholars have theorized that the conversion of the Khazar elite to Judaism never happened. Moshe Gil [189] argues that the conversion of Khazars is a myth, and that Arab sources do not mention Khazars as Jews, and contemporary Jewish responsa show no trace of Khazarian Jews. He concludes that the conversion 'never happened'. Stampher [190] has recently seconded Gil's heterodoxy.
    Jews from both the Islamic world and Byzantium are known to have migrated to Khazaria during periods of persecution under Heraclius, Justinian II, Leo III, and Romanus Lakapēnos.[191][192] For Simon Schama, Jewish communities from the Balkans and the Bosphoran Crimea, especially from Panticapaeum began migrating to the more hospitable climate of pagan Khazaria in the wake of these persecutions, and were joined there by Jewish refugees from Armenia. The Geniza fragments, he argues, make it clear the Judaising reforms sent roots down into the whole of the population.[193] The pattern is one of an elite conversion preceding large-scale adoption of the new religion by the general population, which often resisted the imposition.[173] One important condition for mass conversion was a settled urban state, where churches, synagogues or mosques provided a focus for religion, as opposed to the free nomadic lifestyle of life on the open steppes.[194] A tradition of the Iranian Judeo-Tats claims that their ancestors were responsible for the Khazar conversion.[195]
    Both the date of the conversion, and the extent of its influence beyond the elite,[196] often minimized in some scholarship,[197] are a matter of dispute,[198] but at some point between 740 CE and 920 CE, the Khazar royalty and nobility appear to have converted to Judaism, in part, it is argued, perhaps to deflect competing pressures from Arabs and Byzantines to accept either Islam or Orthodoxy.[199][200] Christian of Stavelot in his Expositio in Matthaeum Evangelistam (ca.860-870s) refers to Gazari, presumably Khazars, as living in the lands of Gog and Magog, who were circumcised and omnem Judaismum observat observing all the laws of Judaism.[201] New numismatic evidence of coins dated 837/8 bearing the inscriptions arḍ al-ḫazar (Land of the Khazars), or Mûsâ rasûl Allâh (Moses is the messenger of God, in imitation of the Islamic coin phrase: Muḥammad rasûl Allâh) suggest to many the conversion took place in that decade.[202] Olsson argues that the 837/8 evidence marks only the beginning of a long and difficult official Judaization that concluded some decades later.[203] Another view holds that by the 10th century, while the royal clan officially claimed Judaism, a non-normative variety of Islamisation took place among the majority of Khazars.[204]
    By the 10th century, the letter of King Joseph asserts that, after the royal conversion, "Israel returned (yashuvu yisra'el) with the people of Qazaria (to Judaism) in complete repentance (bi-teshuvah shelemah).[205] Persian historian Ibn al-Faqîh wrote that 'all the Khazars are Jews, but they have been Judaized recently'. Ibn Fadlân, based on his Caliphal mission (921-922) to the Volga Bulğars, also reported that 'the core element of the state, the Khazars, were Judaized',[206] something underwritten by the Qaraite scholar Ya'kub Qirqisânî around 937.[207] The conversion appears to have occurred against a background of frictions arising from both an intensification of Byzantine missionary activity in from the Crimea to the Caucasus, and Arab attempts to wrest control over the latter in the 8th century CE,[208] and a revolt, put down, by the Khavars around the mid-9th century is often invoked as in part influenced by their refusal to accept Judaism.[209] Modern scholars generally[210] see the conversion as a slow process through three stages, which accords with Richard Eaton's model of syncretic inclusion, gradual identification and, finally, displacement of the older tradition.[211][212]
    Some time between 954 and 961, Ḥasdai ibn Shaprūṭ wrote a letter of inquiry addressed to the ruler of Khazaria, and received a reply from Joseph of Khazaria. The exchanges of this Khazar Correspondence, together with the Schechter Letter discovered in the Cairo Geniza and the famous platonizing dialogue[213] by Judah Halevi, Sefer ha-Kuzari ('The Khazar'), which plausibly drew on such sources,[214][215] provide us with the only direct evidence of the indigenous traditions[216] concerning the conversion. King Bulan[217] is said to have driven out the sorcerers,[218] and to have received angelic visitations exhorting him to find the true religion, upon which, accompanied by his vizier, he travelled to desert mountains of Warsān on a seashore, where he came across a cave rising from the plain of Tiyul in which Jews used to celebrate the Sabbath. Here he was circumcised.[219] Bulan is then said to have convened a royal debate between exponents of the three Abrahamic religions. He decided to convert when he was convinced of Judaism's superiority. Many scholars situate this c. 740CE, a date supported by Halevi's own account.[220][221] The details are both Judaic [222] and Türkic: a Türkic ethnogonic myth speaks of an ancestral cave in which the Āshǐnà were conceived from the mating of their human ancestor and a wolf ancestress.[223][224][225] These accounts suggest that there was a rationalizing syncretism of native pagan traditions with Jewish law, by melding through the motif of the cave, a site of ancestral ritual and repository of forgotten sacred texts, Türkic myths of origin and Jewish notions of redemption of Israel's fallen people.[226] It is generally agreed they adopted Rabbinical rather than Qaraite Judaism.[227]
    Ibn Fadlan reports that the settlement of disputes in Khazaria was adjudicated by judges hailing each from his community, be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Pagan.[228] Some evidence suggests that the Khazar king saw himself as a defender of Jews even beyond the kingdom's frontiers, retaliating against Muslim or Christian interests in Khazaria in the wake of Islamic and Byzantine persecutions of Jews abroad.[229][230] Ibn Fadlan recounts specifically an incident in which the king of Khazaria destroyed the minaret of a mosque in Atil as revenge for the destruction of a synagogue in Dâr al-Bâbûnaj, and allegedly said he would have done worse were it not for a fear that the Muslims might retaliate in turn against Jews.[227][231] Ḥasdai ibn Shaprūṭ sought information on Khazaria in the hope he might discover 'a place on this earth where harassed Israel can rule itself' and wrote that, were it to prove true that Khazaria had such a king, he would not hesitate to forsake his high office and his family in order to emigrate there.[232]
    Abraham Harkavy [233][234] noted in 1877 that an Arabic commentary on Isaiah 48:14,[235] ascribed to Saadia Gaon or to the Karaite scholar Benjamin Nahâwandî, interpreted "The Lord hath loved him" as a reference "This refers to the Khazars, who will go and destroy Babel" (i.e., Babylonia), a name used to designate the country of the Arabs. This has been taken as an indication of hopes by Persian Jews that the Khazars might succeed in destroying the Caliphate.[236][237]


    In 965, as the Qağanate was struggling against the victorious campaign of the Rus' prince Sviatoslav, the Islamic historian Ibn al-Athîr mentions that Khazaria, attacked by the Oğuz, sought help from Khwarezm, but their appeal was rejected because they were regarded as 'infidels' (al-kuffâr:pagans). Save for the king, the Khazarians are said to have converted to Islam in order to secure an alliance, and the Turks were, with Khwarezm's military assistance repelled. It was this that, according to Ibn al-Athîr, led the Jewish king of Khazar to convert to Islam.[134]

    Claims of Khazar ancestry

    Khazar origins for, or suggestions Khazars were absorbed by many peoples, have been made regarding the Slavic Judaising Subbotniks, the Bukharan Jews, the Muslim Kumyks, Kazakhs, Nogais,[citation needed] the Cossacks of the Don region, the Turkic-speaking Krymchaks and their Crimean neighbours the Karaites to the Moldavian Csángós, the Mountain Jews and others.[19][20][21] Turkic-speaking Crimean Karaites (known in the Crimean Tatar language as Qaraylar), some of whom migrated in 19th century from Crimea to Poland and Lithuania have claimed Khazar origins. Specialists in Khazar history question the connection.[238][239] Scholarship is likewise sceptical of claims that the Tatar-speaking Krymchak Jews of the Crimea descend from Khazars.[240] Even certain European peoples, such as, Hungarians, and Bulgarians are also believed to have Khazar ancestors.

    Ashkenazi-Khazar theories

    Several scholars have suggested that the Khazars did not disappear after the dissolution of their Empire, but migrated West to eventually form part of the core of the later Ashkenazi Jewish population of Europe. This hypothesis is greeted with scepticism or caution by most scholars.[241][242][243]
    Abraham Eliyahu Harkavi then suggested as early as 1869 that there might be a link between the Khazars and European Jews,[244] but the theory that Khazar converts formed a major proportion of Ashkenazi was first proposed to a Western public in a lecture by Ernest Renan in 1883.[245][246] Occasional suggestions emerged that there was a small Khazar component in East European Jews in works by Joseph Jacobs (1886), Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, a critic of anti-Semitism, (1893)[247] Maksymilian Ernest Gumplowicz,[248] and by the Russian-Jewish anthropologist Samuel Weissenberg.[249] In 1909 Hugo von Kutschera developed the notion into a book-length study,[250] arguing Khazars formed the foundational core of the modern Ashkenazi.[251] Maurice Fishberg introduced the notion to American audiences in 1911.[252] The idea was also taken up by the Polish-Jewish economic historian and General Zionist Yitzhak Schipper in 1918.[253][254] Scholarly anthropologists, such as Roland B. Dixon (1923), and writers like H. G. Wells (1921) used it to argue that "The main part of Jewry never was in Judea",[255][256] a thesis that was to have a political echo in later opinion.[257][258] In 1932, Samuel Krauss ventured the theory that the biblical Ashkenaz referred to northern Asia Minor, and identified it with the Khazars, a position immediately disputed by Jacob Mann.[259] Ten years later, in 1942, Abraham N. Poliak, later professor for the history of the Middle Ages at Tel Aviv University, published a Hebrew monograph in which he concluded that the East European Jews came from Khazaria.[260][261] D.M. Dunlop, writing in 1954, thought very little evidence backed what he regarded as a mere assumption, and argued that the Ashkenazi-Khazar descent theory went far beyond what "our imperfect records" permit.[262] Léon Poliakov, while assuming the Jews of Western Europe resulted from a "panmixia" in the Ist millennium, asserted in 1955 that it was widely assumed that Europe's Eastern Jews descended from a mixture of Khazarian and German Jews.[263] Poliak's work found some support in Salo Wittmayer Baron and Ben-Zion Dinur,[264][265] but was dismissed by Bernard Weinryb as a fiction (1962).[266]
    The Khazar-Ashkenazi hypothesis came to the attention of a much wider public with the publication of Arthur Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe in 1976.[267] which was both positively reviewed and dismissed as a fantasy, and a somewhat dangerous one. Israel's ambassador to Britain branded it "an anti-Semitic action financed by the Palestinians", while Bernard Lewis claimed that the idea was not supported by any evidence whatsoever, and had been abandoned by all serious scholars.[267][268] Raphael Patai, however, registered some support for the idea that Khazar remnants had played a role in the growth of Eastern European Jewish communities,[269] and several amateur researchers, such as Boris Altschüler (1994)[238] and Kevin Alan Brook,[270] kept the thesis in the public eye. The theory has been occasionally manipulated to deny Jewish nationhood.[267][271] Recently, a variety of approaches, from linguistics (Paul Wexler)[272] to historiography (Shlomo Sand)[273] and population genetics (Eran Elhaik, a geneticist from the University of Sheffield)[274] have emerged to keep the theory alive.[275] In broad academic perspective, both the idea that the Khazars converted en masse to Judaism, and the suggestion they emigrated to form the core population of Ashkenazi Jewry, remain highly polemical issues.[276]
    One thesis, held that the Khazar Jewish population went into a northern diaspora and had a significant impact on the rise of Ashkenazi Jews. Connected to this thesis is the theory, expounded by Paul Wexler, that the grammar of Yiddish contains a Khazar substrate.[277]

    Use in anti-Semitic polemics

    Maurice Fishberg and Roland B Dixon's works were later exploited in racist and religious polemical literature in both Britain, in British Israelism, and the United States.[278] Particularly after the publication of Burton J. Hendrick's The Jews in America (1923)[279] it began to enjoy a vogue among advocates of immigration restriction in the 1920s; racial theorists[280] like Lothrop Stoddard; anti-Semitic conspiracy-theorists like the Ku Klux Klan's Hiram Wesley Evans; anti-communist polemicists like John O. Beaty[281] and Wilmot Robertson, whose views influenced David Duke.[282] According to Yehoshafat Harkabi (1968) and others,[283] it played a role in Arab anti-Zionist polemics, and took on an anti-semitic edge. Bernard Lewis, noting in 1987 that Arab scholars had dropped it, remarked that it only occasionally emerged in Arab political discourse.[284] It has also played some role in Soviet anti-Semitic chauvinism[285] and Slavic Eurasian historiography, particularly in the works of scholars like Lev Gumilev.[286] Although the Khazar hypothesis never played any major role in anti-semitism,[287][288] and though the existence of a Jewish kingdom north of the Caucasus had formerly long been denied by Christian religious commentators,[289] it came to be exploited by the White supremacist Christian movement [290] and even by terrorist esoteric cults like Aum Shinrikyō.[291]

    Genetic studies

    The hypothesis of Khazarian ancestry in Ashkenazi has also been a subject of discussion in the new field of population genetics, wherein claims have been made concerning evidence both for and against it. Eran Elhaik argued in 2012 for a significant Khazar component in the paternal line based on the study of Y-DNA of Ashkenazi Jews, using Caucasian populations, Georgians, Armenians and Azerbaijani Jews as proxies.[274] The general response to such a position is dismissive, arguing that, if traces of descent from Khazars exist in the Ashkenazi gene pool, the contribution would be quite minor,[292][293][294][295][296] or insignificant.[297]
    According to Nadia Abu El-Haj, the issues of origins are generally complicated by the difficulties of writing history via genome studies and the biases of emotional investments in different narratives, depending on whether the emphasis lies on direct descent or on conversion within Jewish history. The lack of Khazar DNA samples that might allow verification also presents difficulties.[298]

    Crimean Karaite claims

    Main article: Crimean Karaites
    In 1846, the Russian orientalist Vasilii Vasil'evich Grigor'ev (1816–1881) theorized that the Crimean Karaites were of Khazar stock, an allegation quickly taken up outsiders though unfamiliar to the Karaites themselves at the time.[299]
    Today many Karaims deny Israelite origins and consider themselves to be descendants of the Khazars.[300] Specialists in Khazar history question the connection.[238][301]


    Leon Kull and Kevin Alan Brook led the first scientific study of Crimean Karaites using genetic testing of both Y chromosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA and the results showed that Crimean Karaites are indeed partially of Middle Eastern origin and related to other Jews.[302][303]

    In literature

    Main article: Khazars in fiction
    The Kuzari is an influential work written by the medieval Spanish Jewish philosopher and poet Rabbi Yehuda Halevi (c. 1075–1141). Divided into five essays (ma'amarim), it takes the form of a fictional dialogue between the pagan king of the Khazars and a Jew who was invited to instruct him in the tenets of the Jewish religion. The intent of the work, although based on Ḥasdai ibn Shaprūṭ's correspondence with the Khazar king, was not historical, but rather to defend Judaism as a revealed religion, written in the context, firstly of Karaite challenges to the Spanish rabbinical intelligentsia, and then against temptations to adapt Aristotelianism and Islamic philosophy to the Jewish faith.[304] Originally written in Arabic, it was translated into Hebrew by Judah ibn Tibbon.[213] Benjamin Disraeli's early novel Alroy (1833) draws on Menachem ben Solomon's story.[305] The question of mass religious conversion and the indeterminability of the truth of stories about identity and conversion are central themes of Milorad Pavić's bestselling mystery story Dictionary of the Khazars.[306] H.N. Turteltaub's Justinian, Marek Halter's Book of Abraham and Wind of the Khazars, and Michael Chabon's Gentlemen of the Road allude to or feature elements of Khazar history or create fictional Khazar characters.[307]

    Cities associated with the Khazars

    Atil, Khazaran, Samandar; in the Caucasus, Balanjar, Kazarki, Sambalut, and Samiran; in Crimea and the Taman region, Kerch, Theodosia, Yevpatoria (Güzliev), Samkarsh (also called Tmutarakan, Tamatarkha), and Sudak. In the Don valley Sarkel. A number of Khazar settlements have been discovered in the Mayaki-Saltovo region. Some scholars suppose that the Khazar settlement of Sambat on the Dnieper refers to the later Kiev.[308]

    See also


  • Wexler 1996, p. 50
    1. Róna-Tas 1999, p. 152:'Kiev in Khazar is Sambat, the same as the Hungarian word szombat,'Saturday', which is likely to have been derived from the Khazar Jews living in Kyiv.'


    • Shirota, Shun (城田俊) (2005). Woods,, John E.; Pfeiffer, Judith; Tucker, Ernest, eds. "The Chinese Chroniclers of the Khazars: Notes on Khazaria in Tang Period Texts". Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi (Peter de Ridder Press) 14: 231–261.
    • Shnirelman, Victor A (2007). "The Story of a Euphemism:The Khazars in Russian Nationalist Literature". In Golden, Peter B.; Ben-Shammai,, Haggai; Róna-Tas, András. The World of the Khazars:New Perspectives. Handbuch der Orientalistik: Handbook of Uralic studies 17. BRILL. pp. 353–372. ISBN 978-90-04-16042-2.

    External links

  • Brook, pp. 107
  • Herlihy 1972, pp. 136–148;Russell1972, pp. 25–71.This figure has been calculated on the basis of the data in both Herlihy and Russell's work.
  • Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2006). Peoples of Western Asia. p. 364.
  • Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (2007). Historic Cities of the Islamic World. p. 280.
  • Borrero, Mauricio (2009). Russia: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present. p. 162.
  • Luttwak 2009, p. 152.'Khazars (Hebrew:Kuzarim).'
  • Meserve 2009, p. 294, n.164.
  • Golden 2007b, p. 139.'The Gazari are, presumably, the Khazars, though this term or the Kozary of the perhaps near contemporary Vita Constantini . . could have reflected any of a number of peoples within Khazaria.'
  • Judah Halevi's Sefer ha-Kuzari was translated into Latin as Liber Cosri: continens colloquium seu disputationem de religione, habitam ante nongentos annos, inter regem cosarreorum, & R. Isaacum Sangarum Judæum.(1660)
  • Golden 2001a, p. 33.'Somewhat later, however, in a letter to the Byzantine Emperor Basil I, dated to 871, Louis the German, clearly taking exception to what had apparently become Byzantine usage, declares that 'we have not found that the leader of the Avars, or Khazars (Gasanorum),'
  • Petrukhin 2007, p. 255
  • Sneath 2007, p. 25.
  • Noonan 1999, p. 493.
  • Golden 2011, p. 65.
  • Noonan 1999, p. 498
  • Noonan 1999, pp. 499,502–3.
  • Golden 2007a, p. 28
  • Kizilov 2009, p. 335
  • Patai & Patai 2987, p. 73.
  • Wexler 1987, p. 70.
  • Wexler 2002, p. 536:'Most scholars are sceptical about the hypothesis (that has its roots in the late 19th century) that Khazars became a major component in the ethnogenesis of the Ashkenazic Jews'.
  • Rubin 2013.
  • Davies 1992, p. 242.
  • Vogt 1975.
  • Golden 2007a, p. 15
  • Golden 2007a, p. 16 and n.38 citing L. Bazin, 'Pour une nouvelle hypothèse sur l'origine des Khazar,' in Materialia Turcica, 7/8 (1981–1982): 51-71.
  • Golden 2007a, p. 16.Compare Tibetan dru-gu Gesar (the Turk Gesar).
  • Dunlop 1954, pp. 34–40
  • Golden 2007a, p. 16
  • Golden 2007a, p. 17.Kěsà (可薩) would have been pronounced something like kha'sat in both Early Middle Chinese/EMC and Late Middle Chinese/LMC while Hésà (曷薩) would yield γat-sat in (EMC) and xɦat sat (LMC) respectively, where final 't' often transcribes –r- in foreign words. Thus, while these Chinese forms could transcribe a foreign word of the type *Kasar/*Kazar, *Gatsar,*Gazr,*Gasar, there is a problem phonetically with assimilating these to the Uyğur word Qasar/ Gesa (EMC/LMC Kat-sat= Kar sar=*Kasar).
  • Shirota 2005, pp. 235,248.
  • Brook 2010, p. 5
  • Golden 2007b, p. 148: Ibn al-Nadīm commenting on script systems in 987-8 recorded that the Khazars wrote in Hebrew.
  • Erdal 2007, pp. 98–99: "The chancellery of the Jewish state of the Khazars is therefore also likely to have used Hebrew writing even if the official language was a Turkic one."
  • Erdal 2007, p. 75, n.2.'there must have been many different ethnic groups within the Khazar realm ... These groups spoke different languages, some of them no doubt belonging to the Indo-European or different Caucasian language families.'. The high chancery official of the Abbasid Caliphate under Al-Wathiq, Sallām the interpreter (Sallam al-tardjuman), famous for his reputed mastery of thirty languages, might have been both Jewish and a Khazar.Wasserstein 2007, p. 376, and n.2 referring to.Dunlop 1954, pp. 190–193.
  • Golden 2006, p. 91.'Oğuric Turkic, spoken by many of the subject tribes,doubtless, was one of the linguae francae of the state. Alano-As was also widely spoken. Eastern Common Turkic, the language of the royal house and its core tribes, in all likelihood remained the language of the ruling elite in the same way that Mongol continued to be used by the rulers of the Golden Horde, alongside of the Qipčaq Turkic speech spoken by the bulk of the Turkic tribesmen that constituted the military force of this part of the Činggisid empire. Similarity, Oğuric, like Qipčaq Turkic in the Jočid realm, functioned as one of the languages of government.'
  • Golden 2007a, pp. 13–14, 14 n.28. al-Iṣṭakhrī 's account however then contradicts itself by likening the language to Bulğaric.
  • Golden 2001b, p. 78.'The word tribe is as troublesome as the term clan. It is commonly held to denote a group, like the clan, claiming descent from a common (in some culture zones eponymous) ancestor, possessing a common territory, economy, language, culture, religion, and sense of identity. In reality, tribes were often highly fluid sociopolitical structures, arising as "ad hoc responses to ephemeral situations of competition," as Morton H. Fried has noted.'
  • Whittow 1996, pp. 220–223
  • Golden 2007a, p. 14
  • Szádeczky-Kardoss 1994, p. 206
  • Golden 2007a, pp. 40–41;Brook 2010, p. 4 note that Dieter Ludwig, in his doctoral thesis Struktur und Gesellschaft des Chazaren-Reiches im Licht der schriftlichen Quellen, (Münster,1982) suggested that the Khazars were Turkic members of the Hephthalite Empire, where the lingua franca was a variety of Iranian.
  • Golden 2006, p. 86
  • Golden 2007a, p. 53,
  • Zuckerman 2007, p. 404.Cf.'The reader should be warned that the A-shih-na link of the Khazar dynasty, an old phantom of . . Khazarology, will . .lose its last claim to reality'.
  • Golden 2006, p. 89.
  • Golden 2006, pp. 89–90. In this view, the name Khazar would derive from a hypothetical *Aq Qasar.
  • Kaegi 2003, p. 143 n.115, citing also Golden 1992, pp. 127–136,234–237.
  • Whittow 1996, p. 221. The word Türk, Whittow adds, had no strict ethnic meaning at the time: 'Throughout the early middle ages on the Eurasian steppes, the term 'Turk' may or may not imply membership of the ethnic group of Turkic peoples, but it does always mean at least some awareness and acceptance of the traditions and ideology of the Gök Türk empire, and a share, however distant, in the political and cultural inheritance of that state.'
  • Kaegi 2003, pp. 154–186.
  • Whittow 1996, p. 222.
  • Golden 2010, pp. 54–55 The Duōlù (咄陆) were the left wing of the On Oq, the Nǔshībì (弩失畢: *Nu Šad(a)pit), and together they were registered in Chinese sources as the 'ten names' (shí míng:十名).
  • Golden 2001b, pp. 94–5.
  • Somogyi 2008, p. 128.
  • Zuckerman 2007, p. 417
  • Golden 2006, p. 90.
  • Golden 2007a, pp. 11–13.
  • Golden 2007a, pp. 7–8
  • Golden 2001b, p. 73
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 155–156. Several scholars connect it to Judaization, with Artamonov linking its introduction to Obadiyah's reforms and the imposition of full Rabbinical Judaism and Pritsak to the same period (799-833), arguing that the Beg, a major domo from the Iranian *Barč/Warâ
  • Qabars ... The fact is we do not know when, precisely, the Khazar system of dual kingship emerged. It could not have come ex nihilo. It was not present in the early stages of Khazar history. Given the Old Türk traditions of the Khazar state ... and the overall institutional conservation of steppe society, one must exercise great caution here. Clear evidence for it is relatively late (the latter part of the ninth century perhaps and more probably the tenth century)- although it was probably present by the first third of the ninth century. Iranian influences via the Ors guard of the Qağans may have also been a factor"
  • Noonan 1999, p. 500
  • Olsson 2013, p. 2.
  • Dunlop 1954, pp. 97,112. There was a maximum limit on the number of years of a king's reign, according to Ibn Fadlan; if a Qağan had reigned for at least forty years, his courtiers and subjects felt his ability to reason would become impaired by old age. They would then kill the Qağan.
  • Noonan 2001, p. 77.
  • Golden 2006.
  • Petrukhin 2007, pp. 256–257 notes that Ibn Fadlan's description of a Rus' prince (malik) and his lieutenant (khalifa) mirrored the Khazarian diarchy, but the comparison was flawed, as there was no sacral kingship among the Rus'.
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 133–4.
  • Shingiray 2012, pp. 212
  • de Weese 1994, p. 181,
  • Golden & 2006 pp. 79–81.
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 130–131: "the rest of the Khazars profess a religion similar to that of the Turks."
  • Golden 2006, p. 88
  • Golden 2007b, p. 138.This regiment was exempt from campaigning against fellow Muslims, evidence that non-Judaic beliefs was no obstacle to access to the highest levels of government.They had abandoned their homeland after the onset of Islam, and sought service with the Khazars, according to al-Masudi.
  • Olsson 2013, p. 13 writes that there is no evidence for this Islamic guard for the 9th century, but that its existence is attested for 913.
  • Golden 2006, pp. 79–80,88.
  • Olsson 2013, p. 1.
  • Noonan 2007, p. 211,217 gives the lower figure for the Muslim contingents, but adds that the army could draw on other mercenaries stationed in the capital, Rūs, Ṣaqāliba and pagans. Olsson's 10,000 refers to the spring-summar horsemen in the nomadic king's retinue.
  • Koestler 1977, p. 18
  • Dunlop 1954, p. 113
  • Dunlop 1954, p. 96
  • Brook 2010, pp. 3–4
  • Patai & Patai 1989, p. 70.
  • Brook 2010, p. 3
  • Golden 2006, pp. 86 n.39,89The ethnonym in the Tang Chinese annals, Āshǐnà (阿史那), often accorded a key role in the Khazar leadership, may reflect an Eastern Iranian or Tokharian word (Khotanese Saka âşşeina-āššsena 'blue'): Middle Persian axšaêna ('dark-coloured'): Tokharian A âśna ('blue', 'dark').
  • Luttwak 2009, p. 152.
  • Oppenheim 1994, p. 312.
  • Brook 2010, pp. 3–4.
  • Barthold 1993, p. 936.
  • Zhivkov 2015, p. 173.
  • Golden 2011, p. 64.
  • Noonan 2007, pp. 208–209, 216–219. A third division may have contained the dwellings of the tsarina. The dimensions of the western part were 3x3, as opposed to the eastern part's 8 x 8 farsakhs.
  • Noonan 2007, p. 214.
  • Noonan 2007, pp. 211–214. Outside Muslim traders were under the jurisdiction of a special royal official (ghulām).
  • Luttwak 2009, p. 52
  • Róna-Tas 1999, p. 282: Theophanes the Confessor around 813 defined them as Eastern Turks. The designation is complex and Róna-Tas writes:'The Georgian Chronicle refers to the Khazars in 626-628 as the 'West Turks' who were then opposed to the East Turks of Central Asia. Shortly after 679 the Armenian Geography mentions the Turks together with the Khazars; this may be the first record of the Magyars. Around 813, Theophanes uses -alongside the generic name Turk -'East Turk' for the designation of the Khazars, and in the context, the 'West Turks' may actually have meant the Magyars. We know that Nicholas Misticus refers to the Magyars as 'West Turks' in 924.925. In the 9th century the name Turk was mainly used to designate the Khazars.'
  • Many sources identify the Göktürks in this alliance as Khazars, for example, Beckwith writes recently:'The alliance sealed by Heraclius with the Khazars in 627 was of seminal importance to the Byantine Empire through the Early Middle Ages, and helped assure its long-term survival.'Beckwith 2011, pp. =120,122. Early sources such as the almost contemporary Armenian history,Patmutʿiwn Ałuanicʿ Ašxarhi attributed to Movsēs Dasxurancʿ, and the Chronicle attributed to Theophanes identify these Turks as Khazars (Theophanes has: 'Turks, who are called Khazars'). Both Zuckerman and Golden reject the identification Zuckerman 2007, pp. 403–404.
  • Kaegi 2003, pp. 143–145.
  • Róna-Tas 1999, p. 230.
  • Kaegi 2003, p. 145.
  • Zuckerman 2007, p. 417. Scholars dismiss Chinese annals which, reporting the events from Turkic sources, attribute the destruction of Persia and its leader Shah Khusrau II personally to Tong Yabghu. Zuckerman argues instead that the account is correct in its essentials.
  • Bauer 2010, p. 341.
  • Ostrogorsky 1969, pp. 124–126.
  • Cameron 1984, p. 212. By 711, however, Busir was supporting, possibly instigating,[citation needed] a revolt in Cherson among Byzantine troops led by another exile, rebel general Bardanes, who seized the throne as Emperor Philippikos and killed Justinian.
  • Luttwak 2009, pp. 137–8
  • Piltz 2004, p. 42.
  • Noonan 2007, p. 220.
  • Beckworth 2009, p. 392,n.22.
  • McBride & Heath 2004, p. 14.
  • Mako 2010, p. 45
  • Brook 2010, pp. 126–7
  • Brook 2010, pp. 127
  • Wasserstein 2007, pp. 375–376
  • Moss 2002, p. 16. Over 520 separate hoards of such silver have been uncovered in Sweden and Gotland.
  • Abulafia 1987, pp. 419,480–483.The Volga Bulgarian state was converted to Islam in the 10th century, and wrested liberty from its Khazarian suzerains when Svyatislav razed Atil.
  • Shepard 2006, p. 19.
  • Petrukhin 2007, p. 245
  • Noonan 2001, p. 81.
  • Whittow 1996, pp. 243–252 argues however that:The title of qaghan, with its claims to lordship over the steppe world, is likely to be no more than ideological booty from the 965 victory.'
  • Korobkin 1998, p. xxvii citing Golb & Pritsak 1982, p. 15 notes that Khazars have often been connected with Kiev's foundations. Pritsak and Golb state that children in Kiev were being given a mixture of Hebrew and Slavic names by c. 930. Toch 2012, p. 166 on the other hand is sceptical, and argues that 'a significant Jewish presence in early medieval Kiev or indeed in Russia at large remains much in doubt'.
  • Golden 2007b, p. 156.The yarmaq based on the Arab dirhem was perhaps issued in reaction to fall-off in Muslim minting in 820s, and to a felt need in the turbulent upheavals of the 830s to assert a new religious profile, with the Jewish legends stamped on them.
  • Petrukhin 2007, p. 247, and n.1: Scholars are divided as to whether the fortification of Sarkel represents a defensive bulwark against a growing Magyar or Varangian threat.
  • Petrukhin 2007, p. 257.
  • Kohen 2007, p. 107.
  • Noonan 1999, pp. 502–3.
  • Kohen 2007, p. 106.MQDWN or the Macedon dynasty of Byzantium;SY,perhaps a central Volga statelet, Burtas, Asya; PYYNYL denoting the Danube-Don Pechnegs;BM, perhaps indicating the Volga Bulgars, and TWRQY or Oghuz Turks. The provisory identifications are those of Pritsak.
  • Noonan 1999, p. 508.
  • Olsson 2013, p. 13: Al-Masudi says the king secretly tipped off the Rus' of the attack, but was unable to oppose the request of his guards.
  • Petrukhin 2007, p. 257. The letter continues:'I wage war with them. If I left them (in peace) for a single hour they would crush the whole land of the Ishmaelites up to Baghdad.'
  • From Klavdiy Lebedev (1852–1916), Svyatoslav's meeting with Emperor John, as described by Leo the Deacon.
  • Petrukhin 2007, p. 259.
  • Petrukhin 2007, p. 262.
  • Petrukhin 2007, pp. 262–263.
  • Petrukhin 2007, p. 263.
  • Dunlop 1954, p. 242.
  • Dunlop 1954, p. 248. Dunlop thought the later city of Saqsin lay on or near Atil
  • Gow, p. 31, n.28.
  • Sand 2010, p. 229
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 148.
  • Brook 2010, p. 156. The Caspian Sea is still known to Arabs, and many peoples of the region, as the 'Khazar Sea' (Arabic Bahr ul-Khazar)
  • Noonan 1999, p. 503.
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 147–8.
  • Kohen 2007, p. 109.
  • Shapira 2007a, p. 305.
  • Dunlop 1954, p. 253.
  • Sand 2010, p. 227.
  • Dubnov 1980, p. 792.
  • Golden 2007a, p. 45, and n.157
  • Golden 2007b, p. 130:'thus it is clear that the false doctrine of Yišô in Rome (Hrôm) and that of Môsê among the Khazars and that of Mânî in Turkistan took away their might and the valor that they once possessed and made them feeble and decadent among their rivals'.
  • Golden 2007b, p. 159.
  • Peacock 2010, pp. 27-35, 27-28,35 for details.Some sources claim that the father of Seljuk, the eponymous progenitor of the Seljuk Turks, namely Toqaq Temür Yalığ, began his career as an Oghuz soldier in Khazar service in the early and mid-10th century, and rose to high rank before he fell out with the Khazar rulers and departed for Khwarazm. Seljuk's sons, significantly, all bear names from the Jewish scriptures: Mîkâ'il, Isrâ'îl, Mûsâ, Yûnus. Peacock argues that early traditions attesting a Seljuk origin within the Khazar empire when it was powerful, were later rewritten, after Khazaria fell from power in the 11th century, to blank out the connection.
  • Peacock 2010, p. 35.
  • Erdal 2007, p. 80, n.22:Wexler 1987, p. 72 Tzitzak is often treated as her original proper name, with a Turkic etymology čiček ('flower') Erdal, however, citing the Byzantine work on court ceremony De Ceremoniis, authored by Constantine Porphyrogennetos, argues that the word referred only to the dress Irene wore at court, perhaps denoting its colourfulness, and compares it to the Hebrew ciciot, the knotted fringes of a ceremonial shawl tallit.
  • Golden 2001a, pp. 28–29,37.
  • Golden 1994b, pp. 247–248.
  • Róna-Tas 1999, p. 56
  • Golden 2007a, pp. 33.
  • Golden 2007b, p. 150.
  • Brook 2010, p. 167.
  • Brook 2010, pp. 113, 122–3 n.148. 'Engravings that resemble the six-pointed Star of David were found on circular Khazar relics and bronze mirrors from Sarkel and Khazarian grave fields in Upper Saltov. However, rather than having been made by Jews, these appear to be shamanistic sun discs.'
  • Oppenheim 1994, p. 310.
  • Schweid 2007, p. 286.
  • Brook 2010, pp. 191–192, n.72 says this thesis was developed by Jacob Mann, based on a reading of the word "Khazaria" in the Cairo Geniza fragment. Bernard Lewis, he adds, challenged the assumption by noting that the original text reads Hakkâri and refers to the Kurds of the Hakkâri mountains in south-east Turkey.
  • Baron 1957, pp. 202–204,p.204.
  • Wexler 2002, p. 514.
  • Golden 2007b, p. 149.
  • Brook 2010, pp. 177–178
  • Noonan 2007, p. 229.
  • Golden 2007, pp. 131–133
  • Whittow 1996, p. 220
  • Golden 2007b, p. 133. Whittow 1996, p. 220 notes that this native institution, given the constant, lengthy, military and acculturating pressures on the tribes from China to the East, was influenced also by the sinocentric doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven (Tiānmìng:(天命), which signaled legitimacy of rule.
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 124, 135.
  • Golden 2007b, p. 125.
  • de Weese 1994, pp. 292–293.
  • Golden 2007b, p. 124:Alp Ilut'uêr is a Turkish subordinate title.
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 135–6:Shapira 2007b, pp. 347–348 thinks the evidence from such Georgian sources renders suspect a conversion prior to this date.
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 135–136, reporting on al-Muqaddasi.
  • de Weese 1994, p. 73 during Islamic invasions, some groups of Khazars who suffered defeat, including a qağan, were converted to Islam.
  • Stampfer 2013, pp. 1–72.
  • Kohen 2007, p. 112. Johannes Buxtorf first published the letters around 1660. Controversy arose over their authenticity: it was even argued that the letters represented: 'no more than Jewish self-consolation and fantasmagory over the lost dreams of statehood' (Kohen ibid).
  • Dunlop 1954, p. 130:'If anyone thinks that the Khazar correspondence was first composed in 1577 and published in Qol Mebasser, the onus of proof is certainly on him. He must show that a number of ancient manuscripts, which appear to contain references to the correspondence, have all been interpolated since the end of the sixteenth century. This will prove a very difficult or rather an impossible task.'
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 145–6:'The issue of the authenticity of the Correspondence has a long and mottled history which need not detain us here. Dunlop and most recently Golb have demonstrated that Hasdai's letter, Joseph's response (dating perhaps from the 950s) and the "Cambridge Document" are, indeed, authentic.'
  • deWeese 2010, pp. 171,305:'(a court debate on conversion)appears in accounts of Khazar Judaism in two Hebrew accounts, as well as in one eleventh-century Arabic account. These widespread and evidently independent attestations would seem to support the historicity of some kind of court debate, but, more important, clearly suggest the currency of tales recounting the conversion and originating among the Khazar Jewish community itself' . .'the "authenticity" of the Khazar correspondence is hardly relevant'.(p.171): 'The wider issue of the "authenticity" of the "Khazar correspondence", and of the significance of this tale's parallels with the equally controversial Cambridge document /Schechter text, has been discussed extensively in the literature on Khazar Judaism; much of the debate loses significance if, as Pritsak has recently suggested, the accounts are approached as "epic" narratives rather than evaluated from the standpoint of their "historicity".
  • Szpiech 2012, p. 102.
  • Toch 2012, pp. 162–3:'Of the intensive archaeological study of Khazar sites (over a thousand burial sites have been investigated!), not one has yet yielded finds that yet fit in some way the material legacy of antique European or Middle Eastern Jewry.' Shingiray 2012, pp. 209–211 noting the widespread lack of artifacts of wealth in Khazar burials, arguing that nomads used few materials to express their personal attributes:'The SMC assemblages-even if they wee not entirely missing from the Khazar imperial center-presented an outstanding instance of archaeological material minimalism in this region.'
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 150–1, and note137'But, one must ask, are we to expect much religious paraphernalia in a recently converted steppe society? Do the Oğuz, in the century or so after their Islamization, present much physical evidence in the steppe for their new faith? These conclusions must be considered preliminary.'
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 128–9 compares Ulfilas's conversions of the Goths to Arianism;Al-Masudi records a conversion of the Alans to Christianity during the Abbasid period;the Volga Bulğars adopted Islam after their leader converted in the 10th century; the Uyğur Qağan accepted Manichaeism in 762
  • Golden 2007b, p. 123 taking exception to J. B. Bury's claim (1912) that it was 'unique in history'.Koestler 1977, p. 52);Golden 2007b, p. 153 cites from Jewish history the conversion of Idumeans under John Hyrcanus; of the Itureans under Aristobulus I; of the kingdom of Adiabene under Queen Helena; the Ḥimyârî kings in Yemen, and Berber assimilations to North African Jewry.
  • Gil 2011, pp. 429–441
  • Stampfer 2013, pp. 1–72
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 141–145,161
  • Noonan 2001, pp. 77–78.
  • Schama 2013, p. 266.
  • Golden 2007b, p. 126:'The Șûfî wandering out into the steppe was far more effective in bringing Islam to the Turkic nomads than the learned 'ulamâ of the cities.'
  • Wexler 1987, p. 61.
  • Cahen 1997, pp. 137–139 argues the conversion was restricted to the elite.Wexler 2002, p. 514:'the Khazars (most of whom did not convert to Judaism, but remained animists, or adopted Islam and Christianity), . .'.
  • Golden 2007b, p. 127:'In much of the literature on conversions of Inner Asian peoples, attempts are made, "to minimize the impact" . . This has certainly been true of some of the scholarship regarding the Khazars.'
  • Olsson 2013, p. 2:'scholars who have contributed to the subject of the Khazars' conversion, have based their arguments on a limited corpus of textual, and more recently, numismatic evidence . .Taken together these sources offer a cacophony of distortions, contradictions, vested interests, and anomalies in some areas, and nothing but silence in others.'
  • Noonan 1999, p. 502:'Judaism was apparently chosen because it was a religion of the book without being the faith of a neighbouring state which had designs on Khazar lands.'
  • Salo 1957, p. 198:'Their conversion to Judaism was the equivalent of a declaration of neutrality between the two rival powers.'
  • Golden 2007b, p. 139:We are not aware of any nation under the sky that would not have Christians among them. For even in Gog and Magog, the Hunnic people who call themselves Gazari, those whom Alexander confined, there was a tribe more brave than the others. This tribe had already been circumcised and they profess all dogmata of Judaism (omnem Judaismum observat).'
  • Olsson 2013, p. 3. The idea of a forced general conversion imposed on the Qağanal dynasty in the 830s was advanced by Omeljian Pritsak, and is now supported by Roman Kovalev and Peter Golden.
  • Olsson 2013, p. 13. He identifies this with the onset of Magyar invasions of the Pontic steppe in the 830s, the construction of Sarkel, and the Schechter letter's reference to Bulan, converted to his Jewish wife Serakh's faith, wresting power, in a period of famine, elements which undermined the qağan, and allowed the creation of the royal diarchy.Olsson 2013, pp. 13,19–23.
  • Shingiray 2012, pp. 212–214.
  • Szpiech 2012, pp. 92–117,104.
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 143,159:wa al-ḥazarwa malikuhum kulluhum yahûd('The Khazars and their king are all Jews')
  • Golden 2007b, p. 143, citing his comment on Genesis 9:27:'some other commentators are of the opinion that this verse alludes to the Khazars who accepted Judaism', with Golden's comment:'Certainly, by this time, the association of Khazaria and Judaism in the Jewish world was an established fact'.
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 137–138,
  • Spinei 2009, p. 50.
  • Shapira 2007b, p. 349, and n.178 and Zuckerman 1995, p. 250 disagree, consider there was only one stage and place it later. Shapira takes stage 1 as a Jewish-Khazar reinterpretation of the Tengri-cult in terms of a monotheism similar to Judaism's; Zuckerman thinks Judaisation took place, just once, after 861.
  • Golden 2007b, pp. 127–128,151–153.Dunlop 1954, p. 170 Dunlop thought the Ist stage occurred with the king's conversion c. 740; the second with the installation of Rabbinial Judaism c. 800.
  • DeWeese 1994, pp. 300–308.
  • Melamed 2003, pp. 24–26.
  • Schweid 2007, p. 279. Arabic original: Kitâb al-ḥuyya wa'l-dalîl fi naṣr al-din al-dhalîl (Book of the Argument and Demonstration in Aid of the Despised Faith).
  • Korobkin 1998
  • Brook 2010, pp. 30; 41, n.75 mentions also a letter in Hebrew, the Mejelis document, dated (985–986), which refers to "our lord David, the Khazar prince" who lived in Taman. As Brook noted, both D. M. Dunlop and Dan Shapira dismiss it as a forgery.
  • Shapira 2009, p. 1102. The name is commonly etymologized as meaning 'elk' in Türkic. Shapira identifies him with the Sabriel of the Schechter letter, and suggests, since Sabriel is unattested as a Jewish name, though the root is 'hope, believe, find out, understand' that it is a calque on the Oğuz Türkic bulan(one who finds out) or bilen (one who knows)
  • Szpiech 2012, pp. 93–117,102, citing the letter of Letter of King Joseph:et ha-qosmim ve-et'ovdei 'avodah zarah('expelled the wizards and idolators').
  • DeWeese 1994, p. 302. This detail is in Halevi's Sefer Ha-Kusari. Golden has identified Warsān as Transcaucasian Varaˇc'an (Olsson 2013, p. 18) Ḥasdai ibn Shaprūṭ's letter also mentions a legend that the Chaldaeans, under persecution, hid the Scriptures in a cave, and taught their sons to pray there, which they did until their descendants forgot the custom. Much later, a tradition has it, a man of Israel entered the cave and, retrieving the books, taught the descendants how to learn the Law.(De Weese 1994, pp. 304–5).
  • Korobkin 1998, p. 352, n.8.
  • Dunlop 1954, p. 170.
  • De Weese 1994, p. 303;Golb & Pritsak 1882, p. 111:The Schechter document has officers during the religious debate speak of a cave in a certain plain (TYZWL) where books are to be retrieved. They turn out to be the books of the Torah.
  • Golden 2007b, p. 157.
  • DeWeese 1994, pp. 276,300–304. The original ancestral cavern of the Türks, according to Chinese sources, was called Ötüken and the tribal leaders would travel there annually to conduct sacrificial rites.
  • Dunlop 1954, pp. 117–118.
  • DeWeese 1994, pp. 304–305.
  • Róna-Tas 1999, p. 232.
  • Maroney 2010, p. 72
  • Golden 2007a, p. 34.
  • Kohen 2007, pp. 107–108, refers to Khazar killings of Christians or the uncircumcized in retaliation for persecutions of Jews in Byzantium, and Khazar reprisals against Muslims for persecutions of Jews in Caucasian Albania, perhaps under Emir Nasr.
  • Golden 2007b, p. 161.
  • Koestler 1977, p. 63;Leviant 2008, pp. 159–162,162:'If indeed I could learn that this was the case, then, despising all my glory, abadndoning my high estate, leaving my family, I would go over mountains and hills, through seas and lands, till I should arrive at the place where my Lord the King resides, that I might see not only his glory and magnificence, and that of his servants and ministers, but also the tranquillity of the Israelites. On beholding this my eyes would brighten, my reins would exult, my lips would pour forth praises to God, who has not withdrawn his favour from his afflicted ones.'
  • Abraham Harkavy,Ha-Maggid (1877) p.357.
  • Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.
  • Harkavy, in Kohut Memorial Volume, p. 244.
  • Harkavy, Russische Revue, 1875, 1877.
  • Golden 2007a, p. 9
  • Róna-Tas 1999, p. 232:Rabbinic Judaism rather than Qaraism was the form adopted. Small Karaim communities may have existed, but the linguistic and historical evidence suggests that the Turkic-speaking Karaim Jews in Poland and Lithuania, one branch also existed in Crimea, descend from the Khazars. 'At most, it is conceivable that the smaller Karaite community which lived in Kharazia gained the Kipchak type Turkic language, that they speak today, through an exchange of language.' Khazars probably converted to Rabbinic Judaism, whereas in Karaism only the Torah is accepted, the Talmud being ignored.
  • Brook 2010, pp. 227–228.
  • Wexler 2002, p. 536."Most scholars are sceptical about the hypothesis". Wexler, who proposes a variation on the idea, argues that a combination of three reasons accounts for scholarly aversion to the concept: a desire not to get mixed up in controversy, ideological insecurities, and the incompetence of much earlier work in favour of that hypothesis.
  • Golden 2007a, p. 56:"Methodologically, Wexler has opened up some new areas, taking elements of folk culture into account. I think that his conclusions have gone well beyond the evidence. Nonetheless, these are themes that should be pursued further."
  • Mariner 1999, pp. 95–96:"Arthur Koestler's book The Thirteenth Tribe which claimed that the converted Khazars were the progenitors of today's Ashkenazi Jews, has been largely rejected by serious scholars. However, the disputed theory that the stereotypical European Jew is descended from an Eastern European nation of Jewish converts, has been sufficiently unwelcome as to render study of the Khazars an area of research largely off limits for Jewish as well as Russian archaeologists, the Russians being unhappy with the prospect that their empire was initially ruled by Jewish kings as the Ashkenazim were that they might not have a genetic connection with the freed slaves who met with God at Sinai."
  • Rossman 2002, p. 98: Abraham Harkavy, O yazykye evreyev, zhivshikh v drevneye vremya na Rusi i o slavianskikh slovakh, vstrechaiuschikhsia u evreiskikh pisatelei, St. Petersburg.
  • Barkun 1997, p. 137: Ernest Renan, "Judaism as a Race and as Religion." Delivered on the January 27, 1883.
  • Rossman 2002, p. 98.
  • Singerman 2004, pp. 3–4, Israël chez les nations (1893)
  • Polonsky, Basista & Link-Lenczowski 1993, p. 120. In the book Początki religii żydowskiej w Polsce, Warsaw: E. Wende i S-ka, 1903.
  • Goldstein 2006, p. 131. Goldstein writes: "The theory that Eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars was originally proposed by Samuel Weissenberg in an attempt to show that Jews were deeply rooted on Russian soil and that the cradle of Jewish civilization was the Caucasus". Weissenberg's book Die Südrussischen Juden, was published in 1895.
  • Koestler 1976, pp. 134,150. Die Chasaren; historische Studie, A. Holzhauen,Vienna 1909.2nd ed., 1910.
  • Koestler 1976, pp. 134,150.
  • Goldstein 2006, p. 131. Maurice Fishberg, The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment.
  • Litman 1984, pp. 85–110,109 Schipper's first monograph on this was published in the Almanach Žydowski (Vienna) in 1918. While in the Warsaw ghetto before falling victim to the Holocaust at Majdanek, Schipper (1884–1943) was working on the Khazar hypothesis.
  • Brook 2010, p. 210.
  • Wells 2004, p. 2:"There were Arab tribes who were Jews in the time of Muhammad, and a Turkic people who were mainly Jews in South Russia in the ninth century. Judaism is indeed the reconstructed political ideal of many shattered peoples-mainly semitic. As a result of these coalescences and assimilations, almost everywhere in the towns throughout the Roman Empire, and far beyond it in the east, Jewish communities traded and flourished, and were kept in touch through the Bible, and through a religious and educational organization. The main part of Jewry never was in Judea and had never come out of Judea."
  • Singerman 2004, p. 4
  • Morris 2003, p. 22: Pasha Glubb held that Russian Jews "have considerably less Middle Eastern blood, consisting largely of pagan Slav proselytes or of Khazar Turks." For Glubb, they were not "descendants of the Judeans ...The Arabs of Palestine are probably more closely related to the Judeans (genetically) than are modern Russian or German Jews" ..."Of course, an anti-Zionist (as well as an anti-Semitic) point is being made here: The Palestinians have a greater political right to Palestine than the Jews do, as they, not the modern-day Jews, are the true descendants of the land's Jewish inhabitants/owners".
  • Roland Burrage Dixon The Racial History of Man, 1923; H. G. Wells, The Outline of History (1921)
  • Malkiel 2008, p. 263,n.1.
  • Golden 2007a, p. 29. "Poliak sought the origins of Eastern European Jewry in Khazaria". First written as an article, then as a monograph (1942), it was twice revised in 1944, and 1951 as Kazariyah: Toldot mamlaxa yehudit (Khazaria:The History of a Jewish Kingdom in Europe) Mosad Bialik, Tel Aviv, 1951.
  • Sand 2010, p. 234.
  • Dunlop 1954, pp. 261,263.
  • Poliakov 2005, p. 285:"As for the Jews of Eastern Europe (Poles, Russians, etc.,) it has always been assumed that they descended from an amalgamation of Jews of Khazar stock from southern Russia and German Jews (the latter having imposed their superior culture)."
  • Sand 2010, pp. 241–2. Sand cites Salo Wittmayer Baron,Baron 1957, pp. 196–206, p.206:"before and after the Mongol upheaval the Khazars sent many offshoots into the unsubdued Slavonic lands, helping ultimately to build up the great Jewish center of Eastern Europe"; and Ben-Zion Dinur, Yisrael ba-gola 5 vols., 3rd ed.(1961–1966)Tel-Aviv: Jerusalem:Dvir;Bialik Institute, 1961. (OCLC:492532282) vol.1 p.2,5:"The Russian conquests did not destroy the Khazar kingdom entirely, but they broke it up and diminished it And this kingdom, which had absorbed Jewish immigration and refugees from many exiles, must itself have become a diaspora mother, the mother of one of the greatest of the diasporas (Em-galuyot, em akhat hagaluyot hagdolot)-of Israel in Russia, Lithuania and Poland."
  • Golden 2007a, p. 55:'Salo Baron, who incorrectly viewed them as Finno-Ugrians, believed that the Khazars "sent many offshoots into the unsubdued Slavonic lands, helping ultimately to build up the great Jewish centers of eastern Europe"
  • Golden 2007a, p. 55:"dismissed ... rather airily".
  • Sand 2010, p. 240.
  • Lewis 1987, p. 48:"Some limit this denial to European Jews and make use of the theory that the Jews of Europe are not of Israelite descent at all but are the offspring of a tribe of Central Asian Turks converted to Judaism, called the Khazars. This theory, first put forward by an Austrian anthropologist in the early years of this century, is supported by no evidence whatsoever. It has long since been abandoned by all serious scholars in the field, including those in Arab countries, where Khazar theory is little used except in occasional political polemics." Assertions of this kind has been challenged by Paul WexlerWexler 2002, pp. 538 who also notes that the arguments on this issue are riven by contrasting ideological investments:"Most writers who have supported the Ashkenazi-Khazar hypothesis have not argued their claims in a convincing manner ... The opponents of the Khazar-Ashkenazi nexus are no less guilty of empty polemics and unconvincing arguments."(p.537)).
  • Patai & Patai 1989, p. 71: "it is assumed by all historians that those Jewish Khazars who survived the last fateful decades sought and found refuge in the bosom of Jewish communities in the Christian countries to the west, and especially in Russia and Poland, on the one hand, and in the Muslim countries to the east and the south, on the other. Some historians and anthropologists go so far as to consider the modern Jews of East Europe, and more particularly of Poland, the descendants of the medieval Khazars."
  • Brook 2010
  • Toch 2012, p. 155,n.4.
  • Wexler 2007, pp. 387–398.
  • Sand 2010, pp. 190–249.
  • Elhaik 2012, pp. 61–74. Cite error: Invalid tag; name "Elhaik_2012_61.E2.80.9374" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  • Spolsky & 2014 174-177
  • Golden 2007, pp. 9–10.
  • Wexler 2002, pp. 513–541.
  • Goldstein 2006, p. 131.
  • Singerman 2004, pp. 4–5.
  • Goodrick-Clarke 2003, p. 237.
  • .Boller 1992, pp. 2,6–7. Barkun 1997, pp. 141–2. Beaty was an anti-Semitic, McCarthyite professor of Old English at SMU, author of 'The Iron Curtain over America, (Dallas 1952). According to him, 'the Khazar Jews . .were responsible for all of America's – and the world's ills, beginning with World War 1. The book 'had little impact' until the former Wall Street broker and oil tycoon J. Russell Maguire promoted it.
  • Barkun 1997, pp. 140–141. Cf. Wilmot Robertson Dispossessed Majority(1972)
  • Wexler 2002, p. 514 has a more detailed bibliography.
  • Harkabi 1987, p. 424:"Arab anti-Semitism might have been expected to be free from the idea of racial odium, since Jews and Arabs are both regarded by race theory as Semites, but the odium is directed, not against the Semitic race, but against the Jews as a historical group. The main idea is that the Jews, racially, are a mongrel community, most of them being not Semites, but of Khazar and European origin." This essay was translated from Harkabi Hebrew text 'Arab Antisemitism' in Shmuel Ettinger, Continuity and Discontinuity in Antisemitism, (Hebrew) 1968 (p.50).
  • Shnirelman 2007, pp. 353–372:'in the very late 1980s Russian nationalists were fixated on the "Khazar episode." For them the Khazar issue seemed to be a cruial one. They treated it as the first historically documented case of the imposition of a foreign yoke on the Slavs, .. In this context the term "Khazars" became popular as a euphemism for the so-called "Jewish occupation regime." (p.354)
  • Rossman 2007, pp. 121–188.
  • Barkun 1997, pp. 136–7:'The Khazar theory never figured as a major component of anti-Semitism. Indeed, it receives only scant attention in Léon Poliakov's monumental history of the subject.'
  • Barkun 2012, p. 165:'Although the Khazar theory gets surprisingly little attention in scholarly histories of anti-Semitism, it has been an influential theme among American anti-Semites since the immigration restrictionists of the 1920s,'.
  • Gow 1995, pp. 30–31, n.28.
  • Barkun 1997, pp. 142–144.
  • Goodman & Miyazawi 2000, pp. 263–264.
  • Ostrer 2012, pp. 24–7,93–95,124–125.
  • Nebel, Filon & Brinkmann 2001, pp. 1095–1112.
  • Behar, Skorecky & Hammer 2003, pp. 769–779.
  • Nebel, Filon & Faerman 2005, pp. 388–391.
  • Atzmon & Ostrer 2010, pp. 850–859
  • Costa, Pereira & Richards 2013, pp. 1–10.
  • El-Haj 2012, pp. 1–2,28–9,120–123, 133:'if the genome does not prove Sand wrong, neither can it prove him right. It is the wrong kind of evidence and the wrong style of reasoning for the task at hand.'(p.28):'They (researchers) will never be able to prove descent from Khazars: there are no "verification" samples.'(p.133).
  • Shapira 2006, p. 166.
  • Blady 113–130.
  • Róna-Tas 1999, p. 232:Rabbinic Judaism rather than Qaraism was the form adopted. Small Karaim communities may have existed, but the linguistic and historical evidence suggests that the Turkic-speaking Karaites in Poland and Lithuania, one branch also existed in Crimea, descend from the Khazars. 'At most, it is conceivable that the smaller Karaite community which lived in Kharazia gained the Kipchak type Turkic language, that they speak today, through an exchange of language.' Khazars probably converted to Rabbinic Judaism, whereas in Karaism only the Torah is accepted, the Talmud being ignored.
  • Kevin Alan Brook, Leon Kull, and Adam J. Levin, "The Genetic Signatures of East European Karaites," August 28, 2013,
  • Kevin Alan Brook, "The Genetics of Crimean Karaites," Karadeniz Araştırmaları №42 (Summer 2014): pp. 69–84,
  • Lobel 2000, pp. 2–4.
  • Baron 1957, p. 204.
  • Wachtel 1998, pp. 210–215.
  • Cokal 2007.
  • end quote from:
  • Khazars: Wikipedia

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