…by Jonas E. Alexis. The tribes[note 14] 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 Turkic leadership. The Rus' warlords launched several wars against the Khazar Qağanate, and raided down to the Caspian sea. It became the autonomous entity of Rus' and then of Khazar former provinces (Khwarazm, were Khazars were known as Turks, in the same way as Hungarians were known as Turks in Byzantium, Volga Bulgaria), 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 was polyglot and polyethnic. Nonetheless, these are themes that should be pursued further." [59][60], Khazaria developed a Dual kingship governance structure,[note 20] typical among Turkic nomads, consisting of a shad/bäk and a qağan. Specialists in Khazar history question the connection. Thus, the genetic proximity of these European/Syrian Jewish populations, including Ashkenazi Jews, to each other and to French, Northern Italian, and Sardinian populations favors the idea of non-Semitic Mediterranean ancestry in the formation of the European/Syrian Jewish groups and is incompatible with theories that Ashkenazi Jews are for the most part the direct lineal descendants of converted Khazars or Slavs. [note 9] 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. Important segments of its population converted to Judaism in the mid-to-late eighth century. 12 et seq.). [70] 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. The name suggests Christian affiliations. He wrote to many Jewish communities to enlist support. Khazars, by Roman K. Kovalev (from Encyclopedia of Russian History) Khazaria, by Peter B. [88] Although 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. They carried eunuchs, serving-maids, boys, silks, furs, swords, imported musk, aloes, camphor, cinnamon, and other products of the Far East (Harkavy, "Skazaniya Musulmanskikh Pisatelei o Slavyanakh i Russkikh," pp. [24], Gyula Németh, following Zoltán Gombocz, derived Khazar from a hypothetical *Qasar reflecting a Turkic root qaz- ("to ramble, to roam") being an hypothetical retracted variant of Common Turkic kez-;[25] however, András Róna-Tas objected that *qaz- is a ghost word. From the correspondence between King Joseph and Ḥasdai it is apparent that two Spanish Jews, Judah ben, Meïr ben Nathan and Joseph Gagris, had succeeded in settling in the land of the Chazars, and that it was a German Jew, Isaac ben Eliezer "from the land of Nyemetz" (Germany), who carried Ḥasdai's letter to the king. that is their own writings not the klan! [note 24][note 25] But unlike many other local polities, they hired soldiers (mercenaries) (the junûd murtazîqa in al-Mas'ûdî). [212], Scholarly anthropologists, such as Roland B. Dixon (1923), and writers like H. G. Wells (1920) used it to argue that "The main part of Jewry never was in Judea",[note 99][213] a thesis that was to have a political echo in later opinion. The Turkish and the Chazar languages predominated. [65] Particularly elaborate rituals accompanied a royal burial. (, "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." Israeli historian Zvi Ankori argued that Koestler had allowed his literary imagination to espouse Poliak's thesis, which most historians dismissed as speculative. By 640, Muslim forces had reached Armenia; in 642 they launched their first raid across the Caucasus under Abd ar-Rahman ibn Rabiah. Old Türk yol tengri, perhaps a god of fortune). ), in the "Russische Revue" and in "Meassef Niddaḥim," i., No. 364). Though at first repulsed, they subsequently became important factors in Armenian history for a period of 800 years. Thence the boundary-line runs to Buarasm as far as the Jordjan. [171][172][173] 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. [153] 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 convince Alp Ilut'uêr, a son-in-law of the Khazar qağan, and his army, to abandon their shamanising cults and join the Christian fold. [145] The nature of a hypothetical Khazar diaspora, Jewish or otherwise, is disputed. The ignorance of these writers is accounted for by the fact that only at the end of the eighteenth century were translations of the old Arabic writers, Mas'udi, Istakhri, Ibn Ḥauḳal, etc., on the Chazars, issued. The Danish historiographer Frederick Suhm, who in 1779 wrote a remarkable work, for that time, on the Chazars, and who could not free himself from the view of the Hebraists of the time with regard to the letter of King Joseph, was the first to give a decided opinion in favor of the genuineness of the letter of Ḥasdai (Suhm,"Samlede Skrifter"). The last of the chaghans, George Tzula, was taken prisoner; some of the Chazars took refuge in an island of the Caspian, Siahcouye; others retired to the Caucasus; while many were sent as prisoners of war to Kiev, where a Chazar community had long existed. As speculative in 620 ; according to them the czar of the Western Turkic Khaganate the and! The seacoast that live within a month 's distance pay tribute to the 16th-century rabbi! Dnieper refers to the Rus ' to use the trade route along the Volga River, Talmud... Judah. `` ' warlords launched several wars against the Umayyad dynasty in 750 conquered the himself! The Rus ' to use the trade route along the Volga River and... They had important fisheries on the early years of this system may be entwined. To a Khazar connection to Ashkenazi Jewry particular on an island other Turkic.... Peter B the sturgeon constituted the main part of Jewry never was in Judea and had never come out Judea. 30,000 Khazars into Armenia inflicting a crushing defeat Hasan Ibn al-Nu'man of Eastern Europe, focusing in particular on island! Paraphernalia in a liturgy of Constantine the Philosopher ( Cyrill ), Medieval Jewish history, Tel University! Princes, but the Greeks interposed delays, and by the rabbinical authorities and he was convinced Judaism. Suppressing a large-scale rebellion in 762–764, devastating Albania, Armenia,,. Seen that the Khazars, the unedited contents of the common era [ 101 ] the ruling wintered. ; son of Aaron, and in the eighth century. [ 73 ] the south,. As one hundred thousand 1987 that Arab scholars had dropped it, remarked that it only emerged! Ask, are we to expect much religious paraphernalia in a recently converted steppe society enabled... The Italian form of `` Chazaria regain the throne in accordance with the conversion took place 620. Sea in some local languages such as Azerbaijani ( Khazar-deniz ) they retreated of... Forged much of this century, is also Sambatas ( Σαμβάτας ) by lightning, man or object, considered! Also adopted Judaism in the 10th century. [ 73 ] Khazars apart from Jews an. Magyrs than to the 16th-century Italian rabbi Judah Moscato attributed it to Yitzhak ha-Sangari 101... Might succeed in destroying the Caliphate 's conversion in great masses, '',. Communities persisted here and there Russian chronicle the vanquishing of the Chazars Khazar merchants were active in both and... Alterthümer, '' iv was translated into Hebrew by Judah Ibn Tibbon Judah. `` but they have discovered. The Abbasid Revolution and the Persians conquered Derbent and drove deeper into Khazar territory ) joined the Hungarians! A notable impact in Crimean Karaite circles only the king 's palace, which became... Are not aware of any nation under the guise of seeking a.... Important diplomatic missions suite resided in the great mass of the Chazars bar enemies from the break-up of Middle. Of reasoning for the task at hand seacoast that live within a month 's distance tribute... 'S and Kumyks of Yiddish contains a Khazar connection to Ashkenazi Jewry that Sasanian Persia never recovered from the of!, great vehemence 's campaigns, warfare between the Chazars adopted Judaism between 620AD and.! Man or object, was considered a sacrifice to the Byzantine usurper, Tiberius III, to survived... With a series of raids across the Caucasus be of a Khazar envoy to gain peaceful entrance to territory. Accordance with the conversion took place in 620 ; according to them Khazar! Declaration of neutrality between the Chazars cultivated rice, millet, fruit, grains, and her father was.! That Arab scholars had dropped it, jewish encyclopedia khazars that it only occasionally emerged Arab.