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Volume XVI, Fascicle 5, pp. 511-528

KHAZARS (Ar., Pers., Turk., Ḵazar; Turk. of Turkey, Hazar; Old Rus’ian, Kozar; Medieval Hebrew, Kozar and Qazar; Greek, Xazaroi [pl.]), the name of a polyethnic tribal confederation in Eastern Europe, from the mid-7th century until the late 10th century, led by a Turkic tribe of the same name. The Khazar confederation/empire was possibly the most long-lived steppe power of Eurasia.

Origins. Parts of the territories of the Khazar state had been occupied in the past by Saka-Scythian tribes, some of whose remnants were later, possibly, assimilated by Turkic-speaking nomads. The related Alans (q.v.), as well as other Eastern Iranian groupings, also featured prominently in Khazar history. The population included both nomadic and settled groups, of Altaic (q.v.; mostly Turkic), Finnic, Ugrian, Slavic, Iranian, and North Caucasian stock. Contemporary sources often used the names “Khazar” and “Turk” interchangeably, reflecting thus the continuation of the Western Turkic Qaḡanate (see KHAGAN) rule among the Khazars. The Khazar state, like many other steppe states, was imported into Western Eurasia. The kernel of the future Khazar confederation was made up of remnants of Attila’s European Huns (q.v.; after 454 CE), Oḡur and other Turkic tribes driven westwards by the Sabirs, and the Sabirs themselves driven westwards by the Avars (Juanjuan, Uar-Hun). After the Avar supremacy in Mongolia was shaken by the Celestial Blue Turks (Kök Türks/Türküts) in 552, some Avars and Hephthalites (q.v.) arrived in the Volgan-Pontic steppe after 557, where they subjugated some Oḡur tribes, but were forced, by the attacking Turks, to migrate to Pannonia about 567. The Khazars had nothing to do with the Akatzir/Akatir/Ḵotzir tribes or with ksr of the 6th-century Byzantine and Syriac sources (see Henning). Thus, Khazars definitely can not appear in genuine texts prior to the mid-7th century (see below). Until the emergence of the Khazar domination in Eastern Europe, which followed the fall of the Western Turkic Qaḡanate in 659, the Khazars cannot be distinguished from their masters, the Western Turks (On Oq, “the Ten Tribes/Arrows”). When later texts named Khazars prior to the mid-7th century—in the last decades of the Sasanian dynasty in Persia, as an ally of Iran’s foes—they clearly meant the Western Turks, whose earlier dominion the Khazars inherited.

After the disintegration of the Western Turk rule in Western Eurasia (ca. 630-650?), a successor state emerged, that of the Oḡuric Bulḡars led by Qubrat/Koubratos of the charismatic Dulo [jula? cf. Hungarian gyula] clan. Their short-lived empire was destroyed by the ethnically—and probably linguistically—close Khazars. The Bulḡars split into several groups; one was forced into the northern Volga-Kama basin, where they founded Volga Bulḡaria (the present-day Chuvash/Čuvaš people and the pre-Mongol Muslim Bulḡars of the Volga [nowadays Tatarstan] are their linguistic descendants); one part remained in the steppe zone of Black Bulḡaria under Khazar suzerainty; one part, lead by Khan Asparukh (q.v.), migrated westwards and conquered Byzantine Moesia, populated then by Slavic-speaking tribes and by Romance-speaking Vlachs (present-day Bulgaria, or Danubian Bulgaria), having established there their typical nomadic conquest state (ca. 679). The Khazars saw their war against the Bulḡars, whom they called by the Oḡuric form wnntr (*Onoḡundur; cf. Old Hungarian Nándor), as the founding point when their rule in the steppe has been established. After having conquered Bulḡaria Magna in the steppe and forest region of Eastern Europe, the Khazars established their rule in parts of the Crimea, except for Byzantine Chersonese, and there they played an active role in dealing with Justinian II (r. 685-95, 705-711) during his exile, while the Danubian Bulḡars also took their part in different plots.

The name of the Khazars. This has been variously explained as derived from the Oḡuric form of the Uyghur tribe Qasar; from the Kidara Chionites (q.v.); from different Turkic verbal stems with meanings “to ramble, to roam,” with the same semantics as qazaq, “dissenter, freebooter,” cf. “Cossack” and “kazakh/kazaḵ”; from the title caesar > Middle Persian kēsar (cf. Tibetan dru-gu Ge-sar, “Turk. Gesar,” and the Mongolian Gesar; for the existing theories, see Golden, 2007, pp. 15-17); Kwzr is the spelling of the Hebrew Book of Yosippon and Judah Halevy (1075 or 1086-1141), while the Jewish Khazar tradition used Kzr for the tribe and Qzr for the Qaḡan (Qzr kgn); Arabo-Persian authors have Ḵzr.

Early history and the Arab-Khazar wars. The Muslims preceded the Khazars in Transcaucasia, beginning from 21/641-42, and not vice versa. Immediately after the first Arab raid in Transcaucasia, another one followed, with Balanjar/Balangar having been attacked in 22/642 (Ṭabari, ed. de Goeje, I, 2667-68) and 32/652 (Ṭabari, ed. de Goeje, I, 2889-91; probably, the present day Endere, Dāḡestān [q.v.], later a Khazar capital, cf. Masʿudi, Tanbih, p. 62). This was done by ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Rabiʿa Bāheli, the Arab general and governor of Armenia under the caliph ʿOmar, contrary to the advice not to do so given by Šahrbarāz, the former Sasanian commander of Darband (q.v.; Ṭabari, ed. de Goeje, I, 2667). The Arabic sources name the pagan nomadic foes “Khazars”; these did not dare to fight the Arabs having seeing them with awe, so these were able to proceed as far as Bayżā (q.v.; differently identified), 200 (or 20?) farsangs away. However, the Arabs withdrew, and this is how a pattern in the Khazar-Arab military intercourse was established—a deep penetration into the foe’s territory, then a retreat. In 32/652, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Rabiʿa Bāheli attacked Balanjar with a great army, but this time the “Khazars” risked an encounter with the Arabs and resisted them boldly, even though the Arabs used majāniq (catapults) and ʿarrādāt (ballistae). The Arab commander was defeated and killed (Ṭabari, ed. de Goeje, I, 2889-92; ed. Ebrāhim, IV, pp. 304-5; Dunlop, 1954, chaps. 3-4). It was about this time, somewhere in the 650s, that the Khazar power became gradually discernible from that of the Western Turks. Still, circa 661-62 and in the 680s, the northern nomads who attacked Transcaucasia were known as Huns, not Khazars; Armenian sources (Movsēs Dasxurancʿi, Asołig [q.v.], Łewond) report their attacks in Caucasian Albania (q.v.) in the early sixties and eighties of the 7th century. Much fighting was carried out for the control of Darband/Bāb al-Abwāb, formerly a Sasanian fortress to check the northern nomads. It is, however, clear, from Movsēs Dasxurancʿi’s description of the mission of the Albanian-Gregorian bishop Israyēl to the capital of these attackers, Varačʿan (located in the present day Qaytāq region of Dāḡestān), in 681-82, that they were not Khazars, but Huns, possibly, with some connections to the Khazar Empire newly established in the north (ca. 670). The ruler of these Huns bore the Turkic title, Alpʿ Ilitʿuēr (*Alp il-teber/tever); the Huns worshipped the “King of the Sky,” Tāngrī Khan, associated with Spandiat (Av. Spəntō.dāta, Mid. Pers. Spandyād) as well, sacred woods and lightning, and their shamanism as described by the source was typical Turkic; however, their mythology was possibly touched by Iranian pre-Zoroastrian motifs (Dowsett, pp. 155-56, 161), although one could explain these apparently Iranian motifs as part of Bishop Israyēl’s attempt to translate Turkic myths into Iranian ones, more familiar to his Armenian-reading audience.

The Muslims retook Darband from the “Turks” in 95/713-14 and penetrated the steppe of present-day northern Dāḡestān (Ṭabari, ed. de Goeje, II, pp. 1200, 1217; Ebn Taḡriberdi, I, p. 255). Consequently, the Khazars invaded the realm of Islam, for the first time, in 99/717 (Kmosko, p. 361). Ḥātem b. al-Noʿmān Bāheli was sent to repel the invasion and returned with a triumph, bringing the first Khazar prisoners in chains (Ṭabari, ed. de Goeje, II, p. 1346; later, Khazar ḡolāms became fashionable in the lands of the caliphate, see Golden, 2004). A few years later, the Khazars defeated the Arabs at Marj al-Ḥejāra in Armenia, and the Arabs fled to Syria (Ebn al-Aṯir, Beirut ed., IV, pp. 360-61; Balʿami apud Dorn, p. 509). Jarrāḥ al-Ḥakami was appointed governor of Armenia and he proceeded northwards to Rubās (an Iranian-speaking territory) in Dāḡestān (q.v.). *Barjik (on the form, see Shapira, 2016), “son of the accursed Qaḡan,” arrived with an army 40,000 strong, but the Arabs had the upper hand, and Ḥamzin and Tarḡu fell; their inhabitants were removed to Qabāla in Transcaucasia, where in later days Khazars were still found (Ṭabari, ed. de Goeje, II, p. 1453; Balʿami apud Dorn, pp. 512-13; Balāḏori, tr. Hitti, p. 194). Jarrāḥ al-Ḥakami advanced to Balanjar defended by a wagons’ barricade, as was common with the nomads, and the Arabs took the city, with each horseman in their army receiving 300 dinars. It seems that many of the inhabitants escaped, taking a route north to Volgan Bulḡaria. By spring, Jarrāḥ invaded Khazaria again through the Darial pass (Dar-e Alān) and operated beyond Balanjar, having subjugated the Alans in 106/725 (Ṭabari, ed. de Goeje, II, 1472; Ebn al-Aṯir, sub anno 106); the next year Jarrāḥ was removed and replaced by Maslama b. ʿAbd al-Malek, who was appointed the ruler of Arminiya (Armenia). Maslama advanced from Darial and fought the Qaḡan for a month, but the Khazars fled under cover of a heavy rain; the next year they attacked Azerbaijan again. Jarrāḥ was re-appointed instead of Maslama, attacked the Khazars via Darial, and occupied the Khazar capital Bayżā.

Figure 1. The Khazar lands, ca. 650-850. Map created with Generic Mapping Tools (gmt.soest.hawaii.edu).Figure 1. The Khazar lands, ca. 650-850. Map created with Generic Mapping Tools (gmt.soest.hawaii.edu).

The next year (112/730) witnessed the greatest Khazar victory over the Arabs. The Khazars, under the command of the aforementioned Barjik, invaded Transcaucasia via Darial, while Jarrāḥ retreated to Barḏaʿa and then to Ardabil (qq.v.). Instead of taking a position on Sabalān mountain (q.v.), Jarrāḥ engaged the Khazars on the plain of Ardabil. After a three-day long battle, the Muslims were all dead or had fled, with the Khazars taking much booty (Ebn al-Aṯir, sub anno 112/730; Balʿami apud Dorn, p. 519; Ṭabari, ed. de Goeje, II, 1531, 1595; a reference to the booty of Ardabil appears some 230 years later in the letter of Khazar King Joseph sent to Spain as evidence of Khazar prowess; Balʿami’s account kept the material abridged in Ṭabari; Shapira, 2016). The Khazars advanced to Diārbakr (see AMIDA) and Mosul, but were pushed back, and, in 113/731, Maslama entered Khazar territories as far north as Balanjar and then over the mountains of Balanjar to Samandar, while Christian rulers of Transcaucasia sided with the Khazars. However, there the desire to retreat appeared, and the Arabs returned to Darband. A battle was fought with the pursuing Khazar army (cf. Dunlop, 1954, p. 78 n. 90). The Qaḡan was wounded while in his decorated tented car (*čadára, Pers, čādor [q.v.], according to Erdal, 2007, p. 80), and the Arabs won the day.

We have an indication of the enduring Khazar-Byzantine alliance in the fact that a couple of years thereafter, Constantine, son of Leo the Isaurian, married Tzitzak, *Čiček (Turkic for “flower”; baptized Irene), the daughter of the Qaḡan, and their son, Leo IV (775-80), was known as “the Khazar.” In 740, Leo III and Constantine V defeated at Acroinon an Arab army that was plundering Anatolia. This victory represented a halt to the Arab expansion. Prior to that, in 114/732, the year of the Arab defeat at Poitiers/Tours by Charles Martel (732), Marwān b. Muḥammad (known in Georgian sources, because of his cruelty, as Murvan Qru, ‘the Deaf’) pushed past Balanjar with an army of 40,000; however, heavy rain stopped this campaign. In 110/737, Marwān declared that he was about to attack the Alans and received a truce from the Qaḡan; instead, he advanced again into the Khazar realm, with an army of about 150,000, past Balanjar and only then declared war. Having reached Bayżā, he pursued the Qaḡan, who fled to the land of Finno-Ugrian Burṭās further north; Marwān’s forces advanced northwards on the right bank of the Volga, while the Khazar army under a Hazār Ṭarḵān was following the left bank, until the Arabs had built a pontoon bridge and crossed to the left bank, destroying the Khazar army. The Qaḡan promised to accept Islam. Two faqihs (jurists) were sent to instruct him in his new religion, and Marwān departed for home, taking with him much booty and many prisoners.

Conversion to Judaism. Some Muslim historians state that the Qaḡan had become Muslim in 737 (Ebn Aʿṯam Kufi, in Togan, 1939, p. 298, tr. pp. 301-2), but this conversion was short-lived. The Jewish philosopher and poet, Judah Halevy, writing in Spain in 1140, reported that the Qaḡan became a Jew 400 years ago (=740); however, he rather used the Khazar conversion as a pretext “to defend the despised religion” (Ketāb al-ḥojjah wal-dalil fi noṣr al-din al-ḏalil, as the original name of his ha-Kōzari was). A Georgian text, Martyrdom of St. Abo of Tbilisi, written in 786-787 (Bíró, 1975, p. 295; 1977, p. 259), tells of the conversion to Christianity, in Khazaria, and subsequent martyrdom, in Tbilisi, of a well-educated Muslim youth from Baghdad, *Ḥabib/Habo /Abo, who came to Tbilisi with the local Kartlian ruler, Nerse. The description of Khazar ways of life in the last quarter of the 8th century as found in Abo’s Vita includes: the “Khazars sons of Magog” were Mongoloid (sašinel pʿirita, “with horrible faces”), pagan (“having no religious law”), blood-eating and savage (kʿac velur); they worshipped the Creator (šemokmedi), the Turkic God of Heavens Täŋri (Tāngrī). The text makes mention of Christians in Khazaria, but there is no reference to either Muslims or Jews. However, in the 9th century, the Khazar royal house converted to Judaism, to be followed by their entourage, some members of the hardcore tribes of the confederation, and by individuals and groups beyond the Eteo-Khazar tribe (“real Khazars,” see Marquart, 1903, p. 41, n. 2). The extent of the conversion is unknown; the Muslim sources stress that the Jews were the smallest religious group.

The Khazar conversion to Judaism is ascribed in Jewish-Khazar and some Muslim sources, as well as hinted at in two Christian Slavic texts, to a religious dispute at the Khazar ruler’s court between a Jew, a Christian, and a Muslim, in which the Jew won. The Khazar conversion to Judaism was basically not different from the conversions of different Turkic states at about the same time, to stateless religions, like Buddhism or Manicheism, brought by Sogdian merchants, or to Nestorian Christianity and Islam slightly later. The role played in Khazaria by the Jewish counterparts of the Sogdian traders and missionaries in Eastern Eurasia should have been similar. In the 8th century, or maybe even earlier, Jewish merchants operated on the northern segment of the Silk Road (the first written document in the Persian language, though showing some Sogdian linguistic impact, is a Jewish business letter from Khotan [Dandān Öilïq, q.v.] in Western China, dated ca. 718 CE; there is also a 9th-century Hebrew fragment from Dunhuang [q.v.] and a closely related letter in Judeo-Persian from the early 9th century found in Xinjiang in 2004), albeit Sogdians as rivals were too hard to beat (on Sogdians, Jews on the Silk Road, and the Rāhdānites, see further Ebn Ḵordāḏbeh, p. 153; tr. p. 116; Berger and Schwab; Cahen, 1964, 1972; Gil, 1974; McCormick, esp. pp. 688-95; Pletnyova; Utas; de la Vaissière, pp. 180 ff.; Wu Chi-yu).

Another factor in the conversion was the broader cultural context of the Šoʿubi movement and the “ʿAbbasid mentality,” as is exemplified by the Samanids, who were both the Khazars’ neighbors and their most important trading partner; the Khazar understanding of what Judaism represented was deeply rooted in Islamic cultural concepts; this is evinced in particular in the fact that the conversion did not signify a break with the previous Turkic traditions of the Khazars (Shapira, 2005). Likewise, the Khazar view of the status of their Judaism in the surrounding geopolitical circumstances was basically Islamic: seeing themselves as an empire, their Judaism signified for the Khazars their imperial status—not merely independence from both the caesar and the caliph, not a “neutral” religion, but the Third Force, the First Faith (din Yisrāʾēl šehu dinō šel Avrāhām, ‘the Law/Faith of Israel is exactly the Law/Faith of Abraham,’ in the “Short Recension” of King Joseph’s reply to Ḥisday b. Šaprūṭ [ca. 915-975]). On the other hand, it seems that the Judaized Khazars, or at least some of them, were not eager to be counted among the descendants of Abraham, preferring to be the descendants of Togarmah. In the course of the 10th century, the Khazar “political class” was becoming more and more Muslim, not Jewish; Judaism kept the Khazar state from being absorbed by the Islamic world (which actually happened ca. 969), and this Islamic context of Khazar Judaism can partly explain why only Muslim authors, of all the Khazars’ contemporary neighbors, made mention of their Judaism at all.

The date of conversion and religious dispute. The exact date of the Khazar conversion is still disputed. Masʿudi (Moruj, II, pp. 8-9), writing between 332-36/943-47, said that in the Khazar capital live “Muslims, Christians, Jews and pagans; the Jews are the king, his attendants, and the Khazars of his (the king’s) jens. The king of the Khazars had already become a Jew in the caliphate of Hārun al-Rašid.” Masʿudi immediately contradicted himself about the eteo-Khazar identity of the Jews, adding that since 332/943-44, the year when he began his book, Jews fled to Khazaria as the result of a forced conversion to Christianity by Romanus Lecapenus (r. 920-44). Masʿudi added examples of earlier waves of Jewish immigration that one finds also in the Jewish-Khazar Correspondence (see in the Bibliography), where Babylonia, Byzantium, and Khorasan are specifically mentioned. The date of the conversion to Judaism, as given in Masʿudi, has been explained differently by scholars: Demašqi (ca. 727/1327) combines the accounts of Masʿudi about the anti-Jewish Byzantine Emperor (ṣāḥeb qosṭanṭaniya) and Hārun al-Rašid (p. 263, tr. p. 380), but ascribes his account to Ebn al-Aṯir (q.v.), whose floruit was 1160-1234. He says that the Jews expelled from Byzantium found in Khazaria an intelligent but simple people (qawm ʿoqalāʾ sādejin) and the Jews offered the Khazars their religion, which the latter found better than their own and accepted. However, no such passage is found in Ebn al-Aṯir and Masʿudi must be meant (Marquart, 1903, p. 6). Demašqi speaks later about the Khazar conversion to Islam, as a precondition to receive Ḵᵛārazmian (see CHORASMIA) support against the invading Turks, and attributes this, too, to Ebn al-Aṯir. It happened, he said, in 254/868 or 204/819-820 (p. 263, tr. p. 380); these dates, especially taking into account the death of Hārun al-Rašid in 809 CE, are impossible. Probably this should be emended to *354/965, exactly the date of the fall of Khazaria (see below). Bakri (d. ca. 487/1094) states that the king of the Khazars had been a Magian who then accepted Christianity; however, having doubts about this faith, he consulted his advisor who suggested a dispute between representative scholars of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The Jews beat the Christian bishop and hired someone to poison the Muslim, and so they won and the Khazar king became a Jew (I, p. 44). This account has no parallels in other Muslim texts, but the tradition about a religious disputation and the role of a close advisor to the Khazar ruler has its exact correspondents in Hebrew accounts of the event. Eṣṭaḵri (q.v.; pp. 220-26), writing about 320/932, said that the Khazar king, called in their language bak and bāk, is a Jew, and so is his court; the Khazars are Muslims, Christians, Jews, and idolaters, with the Jews being the smallest group. Eṣṭaḵri’s information was extensively used in the two versions of Ebn Ḥawqal (q.v.), edited by de Goeje and Kramers, and by Yāqut (II, pp. 436-40), with the latter blending it with information from the account of Ebn Fażlān (q.v.). Ebn al-Faqih (q.v.) wrote about 290/903 that “the Khazars are all Jews and have lately become so” (p. 298). Though admitting that the Khazar supreme ruler and his i[x]šā[d] and their entourage were Jewish, the Persian geographer Ebn Rosta (q.v.; p. 139)—based on the lost text of Jayhāni, who in turn, owed much to Moslem b. Abi Moslem Jarmi (fl. 231/846)—noted that Khazar paganism was similar to the religion of the Turks.

Some scholars opted for a date of the conversion slightly after 863 CE (Marquart, 1903, p. 23) or about 865 (Vernadsky, p. 351). Dunlop (1954, p. 115), tended to accept a date after 860. Other scholars, relying on a legendary version, opted for a multi-staged process of the conversion to full Rabbinical Judaism, from some “primitive” or “stoichaic” form of this religion (beginning ca. 740, the date given by Judah Halevy, and culminating ca. 800 or in the 840s; see Dunlop, 1954, p. 170; Pritsak, 1978, pp. 278-79; Ludwig, pp. 161-63), while Zuckerman connected the Khazar conversion directly with the failure of the Byzantine mission in 861 led by the Thessalonica-born brothers Cyril and Methodius to the Qaḡan (Zuckerman, 1995), leaving thus no time span for the two-staged conversion. In any case, it is clear that the Judaism as adopted in Khazaria was rabbinical, and not the Karaite one (Shapira, 2007a). Around 854 there may have been some religious problems in Khazaria, and some Muslims left to resettle in Islamic countries (Golden, 1980, p. 134). Now we have an indication of the earlier spread of Judaism in Khazaria. In 2002, a coin from a Viking hoard in Sweden was identified as having been minted by Jewish Khazars. The coin is an imitation of Arabic coinage and was minted in 837 or 838 in Khazaria, bearing the Arabic inscription lā ilāha illā-Allāh wa Musā rasūl Allāh and a tamḡā seal (Kovalev, 2004, pp. 97-129, and 2005).

There are two primal Jewish versions of the conversion story: According to the popular one (the “Cambridge [or Schechter] Document”; see in the Bibliography below), many Jews were scattered among the Khazars from the old days, having no Torah. There was no king (melekh), but as soon as a Jew became a military leader, according to their ancient custom, he returned to Judaism. Afterwards, “this Jewish big chieftain,” pressed by the Muslims and the Byzantines, organized a religious disputation, and, at a moment of difficulty, the Khazar nobles sought Jewish books that were stored in a cave, certainly reflecting the memory of an old Turkic tradition. The books they found proved the veracity of the Jewish faith. It seems certain that the Cambridge Document, with its account of the cave, was seen by the Jewish majordomo of the Córdoban caliph, Ḥisday b. Šaprūṭ; this tradition was also known to Judah Halevy. Then, this heretofore unnamed Jewish military leader and promoter of Judaism had his name changed to Sabriel and was made king (mlk) over them. Before Sabriel was crowned, another reform took place, namely that “the men of the land appointed over them one of the sages as judge; they call him in the language of Khazar kgn; for this reason the name given to the judges who arose after him has been kgn until this day”. It is obvious that this text was written from the point of view of the descendants of Sabriel, particularly the vizier or bek/mlk, who claimed for himself a Jewish progeny. Remarkably, what is absent from the version of the Cambridge Document is the motif of the dream, in which God revealed Himself to the Khazar ruler through an angel.

Another, more developed, tradition appears in the “Reply” or letter of the Khazar ruler Joseph to Hisday b. Šapruṭ. Joseph himself relates that there was one monotheistic king (mlk) called Bwlʾn, under whose rule what was probably seen as the second Giving of the Torah took place. This still non-Jewish ruler was dubbed king—thus contradicting the version of the Cambridge Document. An angel revealed himself in a series of dreams to Bwlʾn, saying to him, “I saw your conduct, and I was satisfied with your deeds,” the statement quoted—in Arabic—much later, in somewhat different wording, by Judah Halevy. Bwlʾn asked the angel to reveal itself to “a certain chieftain of theirs,” who was probably the qaḡan. The angel did as asked, and the Khazars accepted Judaism. The Khazars hardly saw any difference between their ancient Tāngrī, invisible and unique god of Heaven, who allots kings their destinies, and the God of Israel. Bwlʾn is called mlk, which is the same term used by the Cambridge Document to characterize Sabriel, leaving no doubt that Bwlʾn and Sabriel were the same person (Shapira, 1998-99); in parallel Turkic dream-inspired conversion stories, the dream appears first to the supreme ruler, and later to his vizier, and a religious disputation follows, as was the case, e.g., with the conversion of the Uigurs to Manicheism; Joseph did not claim Jewish ancestry, and did not try to make his ancestor Bwlʾn, who bore a Turkic name, an ethnic Jew, whereas the author of the Cambridge Document positioned his circumcised Sabriel, with his Hebrew name, as a Jewish (but heavily assimilated) Jew. This means that the author of the Reply of Joseph ascribed to Joseph’s ancestor the dream of the qaḡan, something the author of the Cambridge Document was still unable to do, for this reason skipping the dream story altogether. According to some scholars, Bwlʾn acquired his name from the Turkic word bulan, meaning “elk.” However, it may be the case that the names Bwlʾn and Sabriel are actually synonymous. The unusual name Sabriel, formed from the root meaning “to think, hope, believe, find out, understand,” is unattested in other Jewish sources as a man’s name, but is probably a translation of the Oḡuz (see ḠOZZ) Turkic bulan, “one who finds out,” or bilen, “one who knows.” Within the dream, God promised Bwlʾn that his descendants would rule for a thousand generations. This expression finds exact parallels in Turkic royal parlance. According to Joseph, his dynasty owes its royal status to the natural order of things, in accordance with traditional steppe peoples’ views on sacred royalty. He also wrote that God sent Bwlʾn to plunder the lands of the caliphate, and this war apparently was destined to prove the validity of the revelation and the new religion.

Next, God told Bwlʾn to build a House for Him so that He may dwell in it, and articles that had been used in the tabernacle or in the Jerusalem Temple were prepared. It was only then that the religious disputation followed. Remarkably, Joseph’s letter does not mention the cave full of books. This report about the construction of the sacred objects is a pious legend, whose purpose was seen to trace the origin of the office of the bek/mlk to the period prior to the religious disputation under the qaḡan, thus establishing the leading role of the bek/mlk in the process of Judaization. This construction of the articles that the Children of Israel had built in the Wilderness runs against everything that orthodox Judaism, whether Rabbanite or Karaite, stands for, and this activity was seen by some scholars as reflecting an early, “primitive” or “stoichaic” stage of the Khazar conversion to what some dubbed as “pure Biblical Mosaism.” The tradition about the natural, stoichaic stage of the Khazar Judaism may have been coined in order to present the older Turkic religion as a certain form of, if not Judaism, at least monotheism, so as to describe the passage to proper Judaism as having been smoother than it actually was. Joseph emphasized his Rabbanite affiliation. This is evident not only from the very fact of the correspondence with the Rabbanite Jew from Spain, but also from his short quotations from three Rabbanite prayers; from his presenting himself as “the wise man who loves sages”; from the quote from the Rabbanite Haggādāh shel Pésakh; from the explicit statement that the Khazar ruler “brought in sages of Israel from different places and they explicated for him the Torah and arranged for him (the way of fulfillment of) the commandments/... he gathered in the sages of Israel … and they explicated for him the 24 books (of the Hebrew Bible) and Mishnah and Talmud and the prayer books of the ḥazzāns”; from the reference to the Yeshivoth of Jerusalem and Babylonia as the sources of religious authority for the Khazar Jews; and, finally, from the mere mention of the festival of Hanukkah. However, in the view of the present author, the references to the articles used in the tabernacle or in the Jerusalem Temple and to the reform of the pious (and never-existing) King ‘Obadiah, as well as all the “Rabbanizing” references, were added to the document while it was being copied in Spain in the early 11th century.

Dual rulership. Turkic empires knew of dual kingship and bipartite rulership, with the supreme ruler ritually isolated and inactive, and with the lesser ruler actually in charge (Czeglédy, 1966). In the developed Khazar state as described by the late 9th and 10th century sources, the supreme ruler was the shaman-like qaḡan, whom the author of Ḥodud al-ʿĀlam (q.v..), writing ca. 372/982-83 but working from older texts, called tarḵān-ḵāqān (p. 193). The sacral isolation of the qaḡan developed gradually; in 862, we still have him described by Methodius, brother of St. Cyril, as the acting ruler, with a high-ranking advisor close to him (no doubt, the beg—or qaḡan-beg, šad, yelig—, called also king, malik/meleḵ, by the Arabic, Persian, and Jewish sources). Ebn Rosta (writing ca. 290/902-3) called the Khazar king ʾyšā, and their supreme king (=qaḡan), al-malekal-aʿẓam, he called ḵazar-ḵāqān (exactly as in the Hebrew Cambridge Document), noting that the latter does not execute any real power. Abu Saʿid ʿAbd-al-Ḥayy Gardizi (q.v.; d. 444/1052-53), who used sources almost identical with those of Ebn Rosta, had a better reading for the title of the Khazar king, ʾyšād (p. 272 n. 2); this title is nothing else but the Sogdian ʾyšyʾ (from Av. xšaēta- *shining, radiant); the qaḡan was called by him malek-e bozorg and ḵazar-ḵāqān. Ebn Fażlān wrote about 922, and he called the Khazar king āqān-beh (pechi in Byzantian sources), i.e., *beg (q.v.). Under this king are *kü/endü- ḵāqān and jāwšığır. The Great King, i.e., the qaḡan, is described as merely the bearer of qut (=Av. xᵛarənah-, see FARR[AH]), the royal fortune, and this description is followed also by Masʿudi (ca. 935 CE). Eṣṭaḵri (q.v.; d. 346/957-58) and Ebn Ḥawqal (q.v.; d. 367/977-78), quoted by Yāqut, called the king bek and *yilig (Byzantine Ielech) (Golden, 1975). The Hebrew sources distinguish between the meleḵ (the beg) and the qazar-*qaḡan. The Old Rus’ian source probably differentiated between knyaz’ and kagan.

Many modern authors connected the usurpation of the actual power by the beg with conversion to Judaism and/or with the revolt of the Qabars against the central authority (of unknown date and reported only by Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos), both taking place—allegedly—in the second half of the 9th century, but these views cannot be substantiated (Golden, 1983). Others thought that the defeat by the Arabs in 737 and the qaḡan’s short-lived conversion to Islam were instrumental in the process of take over by the beg (Novosel’tsev, pp. 137-42). Golden (2007a) suggested that the growing power of the standing army of the eastern Iranian-Muslim (“Ḵᵛārazmian”; cf. Lewicki) Ors/Aorsoi/Urus/al-orsiya mercenaries, who were apparently bearers of the traditions of Iranian sacred monarchy, was here more at work than any other factor, including the conversion of the ruling groups to Judaism. In Masʿudi’s times (Moruj, II, p. 10), the powerful vizier Aḥmad b. Kuyah (*Kuwayh?) was one of these Iranians (see Golden, 1993). In the mid-19th century, Avraham Firkowicz (1787-1874) used the account of the contest of religions of the Russian Primal Chronicle, as retold by N. Karamzin, to create two allegedly old documents in Hebrew in which St. Vladimir also sent his embassy to a Khazar prince, David, in the Crimea, for an analogous contest of religions; the documents have now been shown to be forgeries (Shapira, 2007d).

Race. Eṣṭaḵri (p. 223) made mention of the pure-bred (ḵāleṣ) Khazars, or Eteo-Khazars (cf. discussion in Dunlop, 1954, pp. 93-94, n. 21); he also discerned between two kinds of the Khazars, stating that they do not resemble the Turks: one kind is swarthy similar to Indians, and is called Qara-Khazar (Black Khazars), the other being white and strikingly handsome. In the 20th century, this remark was frequently interpreted as either in racist or Marxist terms (in Turkic languages and—in Russian, as calques—“black people” means “un-noble oppressed masses,” while “white bone” means “nobles”), or even as a reference to Karaites.

Language. Many languages were spoken in the Khazar realm, with the Eteo-Khazar being only one of them. Arabic sources frequently confuse Turks and Khazars: Eṣṭaḵri stated in one place that the Bulḡar language is like the language of the Khazars, thus giving rise to the Chuvash-Bulḡar (or, Oḡuric) theory about the exact linguistic affiliation of the Khazar language, while stating in another place that the language of the Khazars is different from the languages of the Turks and the Persians, adding that the Khazar language has nothing in common with any other language (ed. de Goeje, pp. 222, 225). Hungarian scholars tend to view the Khazar language (so important for the earlier strata of the Hungarian history) as Oḡuric. So far, more than fifty “Khazar” words are known, with only one being Oḡuric (Sarkel, “the white fortress”) and with the bulk not supporting the Oḡuric theory (Golden, 1971, 1980, 2006; Erdal, 2005, 2007). However, it can be argued that the original language of the Eteo-Khazars, a comparatively small tribal minority, could have been Oḡuric, but later they could have switched to Common Turkic (or, even to a non-Turkic language, as can be grasped from Yaʿqub b. Ebrāhim’s remark that the Khazars who come to Prague speak Slavic, etc.). There was even an attempt to explain the name of the first Jewish Khazar king, Bulan, by an analogy with an Oḡuz form of much later date (Shapira, 1998-99). Examples of a ruling tribe switching to the language of their subjects are numerous (Franks, Danubian Bulḡars, Norsemen in Normandy, Scandinavian Rus’, Mongols in the Turkic world, etc.). Certainly an Oḡuro-Bulḡaric tongue was one of the languages spoken in Khazaria; nevertheless, our knowledge of the Khazar linguistic situation is far from being adequate. In addition, it is by no means certain that the bulk of Khazar Jews were Turkic-speaking. A/the Khazar language was the vehicle through which many North-Caucasian, including the Iranian Ossetic, and Turkic languages acquired a number of Hebrew words; there are Hebrew loan words also in the Oḡuric Chuvash, the fact being brought as an evidence for the Oḡuric nature of the Eteo-Khazar (Kuz’min-Yumanadi; at least one “Khazar” word is attested in Russian, pakost’, “dirt”). Some traits in grammatical inventory common to Chuvash and northern dialects of Azeri have been ascribed to the Khazar language (Gadzhieva and Serebrennikov).

Script. Khazar texts known so far are all written in the Hebrew language and script; it is not impossible that they used Hebrew characters also for writing their language(s); Ebn al-Nadim (I, p. 20) mentioned, writing after the fall of Khazaria, that the Khazars used the Hebrew script. Short texts in unknown language(s), inscribed in unknown variant(s) of Turkic runes, have been found throughout the Khazar’s territory. The runic word on the Hebrew “Kiev Letter” might come not from Khazaria (Erdal, 2005; 2007), but possibly from Danuban Bulḡaria (see below).

Khazar cities. Two earlier Khazar capitals, Samandar (probably an Iranian name) and Balanjar, have been located in the vicinity of Darband, to make easier conducting the war against the Muslims (probably, one was the winter capital, and the second one was the summer capital; on these capitals, cf. Masʿudi, Tanbih, p. 42; Moruj, II, p. 7). Samandar, known for its gardens and vineyards, is identified by some scholars with Qızlar/Kizljar or with Tarqu, and Balanjar with Verkhneie Čir-Yurt, or Endere in Daḡestān. Later, the capital had moved to Itil/Atıl (Turkic for the Volga river), somewhere at the estuary; it was located next to Ḵazarān (apparently Iranian, from “Khazars”), a major trading center; by the 10th century, the population of the twin city of Itil-Ḵazarān was composed of Muslims, Jews, Christians, and pagans. The king’s palace was located on a nearby island. Some, beginning with Lev Gumilev (1912-92), believed that Itil went underwater, due to the changes of the level of the Caspian Sea. However, the site of Itil is said to have been found recently in the lower layers of a hill near the village of Samosdelka, 60 kilometers to the southwest of Astrakhan (q.v.).

Sarkel, located near the Volga-Don portage, was built for the Khazars by Byzantine engineers headed by Petronas, while using local techniques, in the mid-9th century; the city was supposed to provide defense from the Proto-Magyars. Sarkel/Bela Vezha (Old Russian for “white tower/fortress”) was captured by the Rus’ during their grand campaign against the Khazars, the event mentioned in the Old-Rus’ian Primary Chronicle under 6473/965: “Svyatoslav [the Rus’ian knyaz] went out against the Khazars; and the Khazars, having heard of this, went out with their knyaz [*and?] the Qaḡan, and came together in battle, and having fought, Svyatoslav defeated the Khazars and took their city [*and?] Bela Vezha” (author’s translation; Cross and Sherbowitz-Wetzor, p. 84); it is not clear whether Sarkel and the capital of Itil are meant. The city was excavated by the Artamonov teams during the 1930s and the late 1940, then submerged by the Tsimliansk reservoir.

The location of Bayżā is questionable. Other Khazar cities were Varačan (in Daḡestān), Samkerč (near Taman’ on the Taman’ peninsula), Kerch (for short periods of time), Ḵamlij (written also otherwise, possibly identical with Itil), Sarıšın, possibly identical with the post-Khazar Saqsın. Chufut-Kale and Mangup in the Crimea were claimed to contain Jewish graves from the Khazar period; however, all the “Khazar evidence” is forged (Shapira, 2002-3, 2007a, 2008); Kiev is said sometimes to have been founded by Jews, or Khazars, or Proto-Magyars, with no basis at all.

Khazar economy. The economy was built on a combination of livestock breeding, especially of sheep, and gardening (seasonal going out to the field is mentioned in the Reply of King Joseph). Trade in furs and in pagan slaves with the Muslim lands; taxes on the traders, especially on ships; and tribute from the conquered tribes were also important. Among the items of Khazar trade were furs, fish (esp. salted or smoked), candle wax, honey, jewelry, silverware, isinglass, and coins from the Muslim lands. After the fall of Khazaria, “Khazars” were seen in the Byzantine Empire as the providers/sellers of caviar (and fish?; see Kordosis).

Traders in Khazar merchandise were mostly Muslims (eastern Iranians, as it seems), the Rus’ Vikings, and, possibly, some Jews (albeit the evidence on is scarce). Eṣṭaḵri (p. 220) says that the slaves brought from Khazaria are idolators, for Muslims, as well as Jews and Christians, do not enslave those of their own religion. The Spanish Jew, Yaʿqub b. Ebrāhim, who failed to note Judaism in Khazaria, noted in 986 that the Khazar traders in Prague spoke Slavic. (On Khazar trade, coins, and economy, see further Haussig; Kovalev, 2004, 2005; Naumenko and Bezuglov; Noonan, 1982, 1983a, 1983b, 1984, 1985, 1987-1991, 1992, 1994, and 1995-1997; Pletnyova, 1996.)

The fall of Khazaria. According to an Old Rus’ian source, the fall of Khazaria was a result of Vikings/Varangians/Rus’ aggression (Artamonov, 1936; on the Rus’, cf. Pritsak, 1991, 2003; Stang, 1996). The reason for the conflict between the Khazars and the Vikings was the penetration of the Rus’ into the middle basin of the Dnieper. The Old Rus’ian Primary Chronicle (tr. Cross and Sherbowitz-Wetzor) mentions, prior to the entry for the year 852, that the Khazars accidentally “found [Kievans] sitting on these mountains in the woods,” and it is presumed that Kiev was originally a Khazar outpost. Pritsak derived the name of Kiev from the name of the Ḵᵛārazmian vizier of the Khazars, Aḥmad b. Kuyah, but this opinion is not widely accepted. Beginning with the 860s, the number of Eastern coins found in Varangian sites along the Dnieper increases, and according to Petrukhin (2005, pp. 77ff.; 2007, p. 258), this shows that power passed from the Khazars to another group, so that the version about a division of power in the region between the Khazars and the Vikings, presented in the Rus’ian chronicle, is borne out by archeology. However, the bulk of the Viking hoards with Oriental silver coins in the Kiev region begins only in the first quarter of the 10th century, at least 40 years after the chronicle’s date for the Viking takeover of the city, but fitting well the latest reconstruction of the oldest Rus’-Khazar relations (see further Noonan, 1982; 1983a; 1983b; 1984; 1987; 1987-91; 1992; 1994; 1995-97). The Vikings entered the region from the North in several unrelated waves; the Old Rus’ian chronicle suggests that one group of Varangians took Kiev from another similar group (Oleg [or, Oleg and Igor] took Kiev from two other Vikings, Askold and Dir, in 882); these are mentioned under the year 860 in the Slavonic translation of the Chronicle of George the Monk, as continued by the Logothete (Istrin, p. 511), although the reference is missing from the Uvarov manuscript. In 883-85, according to the chronicle, Oleg conquered the Sever tribe (setting them a light tribute and forbidding them to pay tribute to the Khazars), and the Radimičs, who also had paid tribute to the Khazars. Oleg’s tribute from the Radimičs was set at a щълягъ (shch’lyag’), which is probably the Norse skillingr (‘shilling’; Novosel’tsev, 1990, p. 117, thought that this word was the Hebrew šeleg, ‘snow’). It is well-known that the chronology of the Old Rus’ian chronicle in the very early stages of Rus’ian history is riddled with problems and inaccuracies. According to the chronicle, Oleg was active between 879-912/3, Igor between 912-45 (although born prior to 879), and both reigned, in a standard folk formula, 30 years and 3 years; while in the Novgorod Chronicle, junior manuscript, which retained an earlier if not always accurate chronology, Oleg was active between 879-922 and Igor between 922-945. The totality of the data based on the chronicles and outside sources, among them the Cambridge Document (ca. 949) and the “Kievan Letter,” led Pritsak to correct the date of the Rus’ conquest of Kiev from the years 880-890 given in the chronicle to the 910s; he put the events described in the Cambridge Document and the raid of the Rus’ on Khazaria described by Masʿudi (Moruj, II, p. 20) in the 920s. Zuckerman placed the conquest of Kiev in a broad span between 910-30 and the events of the Kievan Letter and the raid described by Masʿudi in 940-944/5; the reign and activity of Oleg, in 911-41/945; and the reign of Igor, in a brief period of 941-45 (Zuckerman, 1995, p. 269).

The failure of the Christianizing mission of Romanos I Lekapenos (870-948) to the Alans mentioned by Masʿudi, the expulsion of the Byzantine priests, and the truce between the Alans and the Khazars described in the Reply of King Joseph took place in 931-32. This was followed by anti-Jewish persecution in Byzantium and the flight of Jews from Byzantium to Khazaria. Romanos hired the Rus’, who attacked Khazar holdings in the Taman peninsula. This was an attempt to involve the Rus’ in Byzantine politics, which was now taking an anti-Khazar turn. According to the (Hebrew) Cambridge Document, the Khazars got the upper hand and set a condition to HLGW, i.e., Oleg, that he must make war on Byzantium. Oleg and his co-ruler Igor set out against Byzantium, but the Rus’ ships were destroyed by the “Greek fire,” as also mentioned in the Cambridge Document. Some of the ships escaped (these were the ships of Igor, who returned to Kiev and hastened in 944 to make peace with the Greeks after the overthrow of Romanos Lekapenos in December 944). Other ships, headed by Oleg, returned to the Khazars and asked them for passage via the Volga to the Caspian Sea. The Rus’ attack on Byzantium in 941 continued for 4 months, according to the Continuator of Hamartolos (in George the Monk, pp. 914-16; Slavonic tr., Istrin, 1920, pp. 556-67) and Liudprand (pp. 139-40). In about 944, Oleg came down the Volga, with Khazar permission, and conquered the town of Barḏaʿa in Azerbaijan (943/4 or 944/5; described in Ebn Meskawayh, II, pp. 62-67) where he soon died (mentioned also in the Cambridge Document and hinted at in the Old Rus’ian chronicle).

According to the Old Rus’ian chronicle, the new Rus’ian knyaz Svyatoslav, son of Igor, destroyed Khazaria in 965 and immediately turned on Danubian Bulḡaria, where he remained between 967 and 971: “6473/965 Svyatoslav went out against the Khazars; and the Khazars, having heard of this, went out with their knyaz [*and?] the Qaḡan, and came together in battle, and having fought, Svyatoslav defeated the Khazars and took their city [*and?] Bela Vezha [identified as Sarkel], and defeated the Yasses [Iranian forefathers of the Osset people] and the Kasogs [Circassians; see ČARKAS]; 6474/966 Svyatoslav defeated the Vyatičs and made them pay tribute; 6475/967 Svyatoslav went out to the Danube against the Bulgars, and having fought each other, Svyatoslav defeated the Bulgars and took eighty cities on the Danube and ruled in Perejaslavec, receiving tribute from the Greeks” (author’s translation; Cross and Sherbowitz-Wetzor, pp. 84-85). It is impossible to reconcile this version of events and their dates, including 965 as the year of the fall of Khazaria, with the non-Rus’ian sources, and the clue to understanding the circumstances of the fall of Khazaria lies in abandoning the dates and the sequence given in the Rus’ian chronicle.

According to Ebn Meskawayh (II, p. 209; tr., VII, p. 223), in 354/965 the Oḡuz Turks (possibly with Svyatoslav’s help) destroyed Khazaria. Other Muslim sources mention a Turk attack in 965, as a result of which the Khazars sought help from the Ḵᵛārazmians and the Šervānšāh, who made the Islamization of the Khazars a condition of their aid (Ebn al-Aṯir, Beirut ed., VII, p. 290; Demašqi, p. 263; tr. p. 380); only Moqaddasi (pp. 360-61) speaks of the Rus’ attack as occurring after the Turk attack had been repulsed and the Khazars had converted to Islam. We should add, however, a late and distorted account of Demašqi (p. 263; tr. p. 380), quoting Ebn al-Aṯir (evidently, he means Masʿudi): hoping to receive aid from the Ḵᵛārazmians against a Turk attack, the Khazars agreed to convert to Islam; Demašqi dates this event 254/868 or 204/819, which is unacceptable; the date should be read as 354, and then we get 965. Ebn Ḥawqal (p. 15; cf. pp. 392-93) describes the targets of the Rus’ attack as the cities of Volgan Bulḡar, Khazaran, Samandar, and Itil in 358/968-69 (discussed in Dunlop, 1954, pp. 241ff.), and this mention of cities leads us to read the earlier quoted Rus’ian passage as “and took their city and Bela Vezha”.

Describing the defeat of Khazaria and Volgan Bulḡaria at the hands of the Rus’ in 968/9 during his visit to the region, Ebn Ḥawqal probably paints a more accurate picture than does the Old Rus’ian chronicle. Ebn Ḥawqal emphasizes that, after the destruction of Khazaria, the Rus’ turned immediately against Rum (i.e., the area of Byzantine cultural influence) and Andalus (which is next to Rum on his map), which leads us to accept the date of 968 appearing in the Byzantine texts (on attempts to “rescue” 965 as the date of the destruction of Khazaria, see Dunlop, 1954, p. 242ff.; Novosel’tsev, 1990, pp. 220ff.). In the first version of his work, written right after the defeat of Khazaria, Ebn Ḥawqal wrote: “In our days, nothing remains of the [Volga] Bulḡars, Burṭās and Khazars, because the Rus’ attacked them and took all their lands, and their refugees have scattered over the neighboring countries and are awaiting the time when the Rus’ will make a peace accord with them and allow them to resettle in their own lands under the Rus’ian dominion.” In the second version, he wrote: “The refugees had hoped to remain in the neighboring countries; I know that most of them chose to return to Itil and Khazaran under the government of Moḥammad b. Aḥmad Azdi Šervān-Šāh, who helped them out with troops, and they [the Khazars] begged them [the people of Šervān-Šāh] to make peace with them, so that they could submit to them” (p. 398): i.e., a political vacuum had been left in Khazaria. The Varangians had long sought to break through to the mouth of the Volga – the Reply of the Khazar King Joseph is filled with fear of this possibility; yet, just as this goal had seemingly been achieved, Svyatoslav shifted his campaign to the Danube. A reasonable explanation of this situation is that the goals of the Rus’ were not achieved under Svyatoslav, notwithstanding the declarations in the Chronicle. Evidently, Svyatoslav’s victory was Pyrrhic. Already Barthold surmised that the Rus’ had left Khazaria under pressure from the Ḵᵛārazmians, who had come to the aid of the Khazars on condition that they would convert to Islam. The beneficiaries of the fall of Khazaria were the Oḡuz and the Pečenegs, and in this situation Svyatoslav’s decision to move the center of his empire from the Dnieper to the Danube seems logical. So, in 968, the Jewish Khazar state was finished off by the joint attack of Turkic nomads and Kievan Vikings; the remnants of the Khazar polity were saved for a while by the conversion of the Khazars to Islam in 968-69.

Iranian sources on the Khazars. Khazars are still believed by some to have appeared on the historical stage first in the last decades of the Sasanian dynasty in Persia, as an ally of Iran’s foes. An example for a post-Sasanian Zoroastrian passage in Middle Persian referring to the Khazars is in Dēnkard (noted by de Menasce, pp. 239-40; cf. Molé, p. 237; Golden, 1983, p. 140 n. 38, called attention to it for Khazar studies):

… čiyōn kēš ī Yišō ī az Hrōm ud ān (ī) *Mošeh az-iz Xazarān ud ān ī Mānī az-iz Turkestān tagīgīh ud čērīh ī-šān pēš būd bē burd ud ō wadagīh ud ōbastīh andar Himyārān abgand ud ān ī Mānī az Hrōm fīlsōfāyīh-iz anāftan (ed. Madan, I, p. 25, ll. 15-19)

“… just like the faith of Jesus from Byzantium, and the faith of Moses from the Khazars, and the faith of Mani from the Turks (Uigurs) took away the strength and the vigor that they had previously possessed, threw them into vileness and decadence amongst the Himyarites, and the faith of Mani even frustrated the Byzantine philosophy.”

This passage is one of the few non-Muslim sources to make note of Khazar Judaism. It was recorded after both the Jewish Khazar and Manichaean Uigur Qaḡanates were weakened or even destroyed, i.e., about the second half of the 10th century (note also fīlsōfāyīh from Greek philosophos), since it states that the result of the adoption of Judaism and Manichaeism by Khazars and Turks/Uigurs was the decadence of their countries. It is unlikely that this Zoroastrian testimony of the Khazar Judaism is first-hand, it was rather channeled through Muslim literature, and, in this case, this is a piece of evidence for the Zoroastrian-Muslim literary intercourse in Iranian lands.

In the Middle Persian apocalyptic work Zand ī Wahman Yašt/Yasn (ZWY; see BAHMAN YAŠT), 4.58, the name of Khazars supposedly occurs in a list of foreign nations who sought to destroy Iran. The passage enumerates, among others: Hyonites (q.v.; hyōn), Turks (turk), Khazars? (htwl), Tibetans (tōbīd?), Indians (*hindūg), Mountaineers (kōfyār?), Chinese or, inhabitants of Central Asia (*čīnīg), Kābulis (*kābulīg), Sogdians (subdīg), Byzantines (hrōmāyīg). The reference to “Khazars” must be regarded as an anachronism; as to the problematic word in ZWY 4.58, two different emendations of it were suggested by H. W. Bailey (q.v.): one, to ḤPTL, ‘Hephthalites’ (q.v.; Bailey, 1930-32, p. 946), another, to ḤĞL, ‘Khazars’ (Bailey, 1943, p. 1ff.). Later, this view was modified by W. B. Henning (q.v.) and by Bailey himself (Henning, p. 505 n. 2; Bailey, 1954, p. 21), and the most recent editor of ZWY has read the word in question Xadur (Cereti, p. 192), which stands, as he thinks, for Khazars.

In Iranian sources surviving in Arabic, Khazars appear as Byzantine allies in the war against Šāpur II (q.v.), clearly a reminiscence of the joint attack by Heraclius (q.v.) and Jibḡu (the Western Turk Qaḡan) in the 620s, probably clouded with some remote memory of the Hunnic participation in the war of Kawād I (q.v.) against Edessa (q.v.). There are references to the Khazars as active already before Islam appearing in Arabic sources composed in the second half of the 9th century, i.e., about a century after Ebn al-Moqaffaʿ (q.v.), Moḥammad b. Jahm and others had rendered the Sasanian Xwadāy-nāmag (Book of Kings) from Middle Persian into Arabic. To such sources belongs, for example, the work by Dinavari (q.v.; d. between 894 and 903), Ketāb al-aḵbār al-ṭewāl (q.v.), according to which Khazars were playing a prominent role in the Caucasus as early as the 6th century; or Ketāb fotuḥ al-boldān by Balāḏori (q.v.; d. 892), who reports about Khazar-Sasanian relations; or the History by Ṭabari (q.v.; 839-923), in which the name of the Khazars is a substitute for “Turks” and they are said to hold an important position in the epoch of Ḵosrow I (q.v.); or Ketāb al-ḵarāj wa ṣanʿat al-ketāba, written in the twenties of the 10th century by Qodāma b. Jaʿfar, where the Khazars appear, again, under Ḵosrow I. In these texts, we have numerous references to the epoch of Ḵosrow I, who is said to deceive the Khazar Qaḡan (Qodāma, p. 259ff., quoted by Yāqut, ed. von Wüstenfeld, I, pp. 439-40 [s.v. Bāb al-abwāb]), to subjugate the kings of the Caucasus, and to build the walls of Darband; Ebn al-Faqīh (early 10th century), whose information might go back to the Xwadāy-nāmag (quoted as Aḵbār al-fors) ascribed to Ḵosrow I Anušervān the building of the most important Khazar cities, like Balanjar, Samandar, and Ḵazarān; a similar tradition is known from Balāḏori and Ṭabari, and later, from local Caspian chronicles. We are told that ambassadors from the Chinese, the Turks, and the Khazars were constantly at Ḵosrow’s gate (Ṭabari, ed. de Goeje, I, p. 899); the same king kept three thrones of gold in his palace, reserved for the kings of Byzantium, China and the Khazars (Ebn al-Balḵi, p. 97), and according to Ebn Ḵordāḏbeh (q.v.; p. 135), persons wishing access to the Persian court from the country of the Khazars and the Alāns were detained at Bāb al-Abwāb. There is no doubt that the Western Turk Qaḡanate goes here under “Khazars,” and then all the references to Khazars prior to the late 7th century are anachronistic.

In the mid-sixties of the 10th century, the work of Ṭabari was rendered into New Persian by Abu ʿAli Moḥammad Balʿami. The last events appearing in Balʿami are dated to 842 CE, and his work contains material unattested in Ṭabari (derived partly from Ebn Aʿṯam Kufi). Ṭabari (d. 923 CE) and Balʿami (d. ca. 997 CE) were contemporary with the heyday of the Khazar Qaḡanate, but they believed that the Khazar Qaḡanate was an uninterrupted continuation of the Turkish Qaḡanate. Ḥamza Eṣfāhāni, who wrote his Taʾriḵ ca. 961, in the time the Khazar Qaḡanate was still in existence, and who had access to original Sasanian historical compositions (in some cases, independent of the Xwadāy-nāmag), included in his composition rare data on the Khazars.

Among the relevant New Persian compilations are Ḥodud al-ʿālam, written in 982-83; ʿAjāʾeb al-maḵluqāt (q.v.) by [Pseudo-]Aḥmad Ṭusi, written in the second half of the 12th century; Jahān-nāma by Najib Bakrān, written in the early 13th century; and others, including some histories: Zayn al-aḵbār by Gardizi, written in the early 11th century; Fārs-nāma by Ebn al-Balḵi (q.v.); the anonymous Mojmal al-tawāriḵ (q.v.; 1126); and the work by Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfi (q.v.), Tāriḵ-e gozida (completed in 1330). There are only few cases in which some genuine data on Khazars could be found; otherwise, we are facing anachronisms or semi-legendary material: Gardizi, for example, tells a legend about the eponymous ancestor of the Qirḡizes who killed a Byzantine officer and fled to the Khazar Qaḡan; a similar story is in Mojmal al-tawāriḵ (cf. Togan, 1939, pp. 294, 311, 328; Dunlop, 1954, p. 8, regarded this account as anachronistic). The information about the “Khazars” found in the Tāriḵ-e gozida is illuminating in that it is obvious that the names “Qebčāq” (q.v.), “Khazar,” and “Turks” were used as mutually changeable synonyms (I, pp. 115, 120, 181, 574, 575, 582; cf. pp. 583, 588). Written by Ebn Esfandiār (q.v.) in 1216/17, Tāriḵ-e Ṭabarestān (I, p. 266) makes mention of the Rus’ attack via the Caspian Sea in 909; this information was incorporated by Mawlānā Awliā’-Allah Āmolī (q.v.) into his Tāriḵ-e Rūyān (ed. Sotuda, p. 105), written around 1359, but he added an apocryphal legend (ed. Ḵalili, p. 25; ed. Sotuda, pp. 29-30) about Khazars in the 6th century, putting them in the context of Jāmāsp, Balāš, Qobād (Kawād; qq.v.) and mentioning Khazar-Ṣaqlāb inroads to Darband, which seems to be taken from Balʿami. These sources were used by Ẓahir-al-Din Marʿaši, the much later compiler of Tariḵ-e Ṭabarestān wa Ruyān wa Māzandarān, who wrote in the 15th century. Though the texts are of younger provenance, there is no need to suspect their data on the Rus’ attack as problematic, for it is corroborated by other sources. Thus, the History of the Caucasian Albanians by Movsēs Dasxurancʿi (Kałankatuacʿi) tells us that in 944, “a certain people of strange and foreign appearance called Ṙuzik attacked from the lands of the north, … they reached Partaw [i.e., Barḏaʿa], the capital of Albania, in not more than three days, and this city, unable to resist them, was put to the sword” (tr. Dowsett, p. 224 and n. 4), and the Persian Ḥodud al-ʿālam of 982-83 confirms that the Rus’ camped at Mobāraki, a large village at the gate of Barḏaʿa (tr., p. 144; cf. also Ebn al-Aṯir, Beirut, VII, p. 182; Ebn Meskawayh, II, pp. 62-67, sub anno 332/943-44).

In the region of the Caspian Sea (called Daryā-ye Ḵazar, ‘Sea of the Khazars’) there was traditional ethno-historical lore combining together the Khazars, Alans, Rus’, Saqlāb and other Northern peoples. Afżal-al-Din Ebrāhim Ḵāqāni Šervāni (q.v.; d. between 1186 and 1199), who spent most or all of his life in the Caucasus, mentioned Rus’ and Khazars (p. 135), victories over Rus’ and Alans (pp. 139, 145), and Rus’ and Sarir (p. 476; cf. also pp. 36, 406; cf. Minorsky, 1945). Neẓāmi (ca. 1141-1203) in his Eskandar-nāma (q.v.) made the Khazars and the Rus’ to appear as Alexander’s enemies in the North; certainly he had the same events as Ḵāqāni in mind when he wrote on this Rus’-Khazar invasion. Some anachronistic information (“The king of the Khazars designated Payḡu” <*Jabḡub) is contained also in the 15th century Persian work by Mirḵᵛānd, Rawżat al-ṣafā. There are more anachronisms in our sources of the later dates, like the reference of Ebn al-Aṯir, sub anno 421/1030, to “the raid of Fażlun the Kurd against the Khazars” (Beirut ed., VII, p. 194; cf. Dunlop, 1954, p. 253 n. 97), where are meant Fażl b. Moḥammad of the Šaddādid dynasty, who ruled at Ganja (q.v.), and Georgians and/or Abkhazians (Abḵāz, q.v.), not Khazars (Barthold and Golden, 1978, p. 1176b). This is a glaring example of how the Khazars were introduced into a text by later hands, because the Khazars were better known than other Oriental peoples.

The Khazar heritage. In the 20th century, Khazars were used to meet different and contradicting political and ideological ends; they fare widely in folk-history in many quarters.

In the 19th century, a significant portion of Hungarian Jewry underwent a process of deep cultural Magyarization, and in the special environment of the late Habsburg-period Hungary there emerged a new national mythology, which stressed a Khazar, non-Jewish, origin of Hungarian Jews, to match the Turkic, steppe-based origin of ethnic Hungarians. This new national mythology was designed to facilitate the assimilation of the Jews among the Magyars. In large part, this mythology forms the cultural background of the book by a Hungarian Jew, Arthur Koestler, The Thirteenth Tribe (1976); the book should be viewed as a reflection of that mythology (cf. also Telegdi). During the last decades, much ink was spilt to prove Khazar origins of different ethnic groups; among possible candidates to be physical descendants of the Khazars are the Saljuq family, the Qaračay-Mulqar, the Qumuq, the 17th-century Turkmen tribe Aδaqlı-Khazar (near Hızır-Eli in Ḵᵛārazm), Ashkenazic Jews, Kazakhs of Kazakhstan, early medieval Cossacks on the Dnieper, Don, and Terek, and many other groups, but there is no real evidence for any of these claims. Recently, two Israeli scholars claimed (unconvincingly) that Khazars never converted to Judaism and that all the documentation of this conversion should be disregarded or re-interpreted (Gil, 2011; Stampfer, 2014).

The image of Khazaria was generally positive until the early 1950s (in the Russian Empire, it was used in contrast to the negative “Mongol-Tatar yoke”); after an article in the Soviet newspaper “Pravda” signed by “P. Ivanov” (a pseudonym of Joseph Stalin, see Libin and Shapira, 2008) was published on 25 December 1951, in which the Khazars were declared a barbarous parasitic horde (as other “Tatar” and Turkic entities), the negative image became gradually adopted, even by Artamonov in his Istoriia khazar.


Primary sources by language.

Arabic and Persian.

[(Pseudo)-Aḥmad Ṭusi] Moḥammad b. Maḥmud b. Aḥmad Ṭusī’s ʿAjāʾeb al-maḵluqāt wa ḡarāʾeb al-mawjudāt, ed. M. Sotuda, Tehran, 1966.

Awliāʾ-Allāh Āmoli, Tārīḵ-e Ruyān, ed. ʿAbbās Ḵalili, Tehran, 1934; ed. Manūčehr Sotuda, Tehran, 1969.

Abu ʿObayd ʿAbd-Allāh Bakri, al-Masalik wa’l-mamālek, ed. A. A. Kunik and V. R. Rozen, as Izvestiya al-Bekri i drugikh avtorov o Rusi i slavianakh (Accounts of al-Bakri and other authors about the Rus’ and the Slavs), 2 vols., St. Petersburg, 1878-1903.

Abu’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā b. Jāber Balāḏori, Ketāb fotuḥ al-boldān, ed. M. J. de Goeje, Leiden, 1866; ed. R. M. Raḍwān, Cairo, 1959; tr. Philip Khûri Hitti, as The Origins of the Islamic State I, New York, 1916.

Abu ʿAli Moḥammad Balʿami, Tāriḵ, part. ed. M. T. Bahār, as Tāriḵ-e Balʿami, 2 vols., Tehran, 1962; part. ed. Moḥammad Rowšan, as Tāriḵ-nāma-ye Ṭabari gardānida-ye mansub ba Balʿami, 3 vols., Tehran, 1987; tr. Hermann Zotenberg. as Chronique de Abou-Djafar-Mohammed-ben-Djarir-ben-Yezid Tabari, traduit sur la version persane d’Abou-Ali Mohammed Belʿami, 4 vols., Paris, 1867-74.

Abu Rayḥān Biruni, Ketāb al-āṯār al-bāqia ʿan al-qorun al-ḵālia, ed. and tr. Eduard Sachau, as Chronologie orientalischer Völker, Leipzig, 1878; tr. Eduard Sachau, as The Chronology of Ancient Nations, London, 1879.

Šams-al-Din Abu ʿAbd-Allāh Moḥammad Demašqi, Ketāb noḵbat al-dahr fi ʿajāʾeb al-barr wa’l-baḥr, ed. August Ferdinand Mehren, St. Petersburg, 1866; tr. A. F. Mehren, as Manuel de la cosmographie du moyen age, Copenhagen, 1874; repr. 1964.

[Ebn al-Aṯir] ʿEzz-al-Din b. al-Aṯir, al-Kāmel fi’l-taʾriḵ, ed. C. J. Tornberg, 12 vols., Leiden, 1851-76; al-Kāmelfi-l-taʾriḵ, 13 vols., Beirut, 1965-67.

Ebn al-Balḵi, Fārsnāma, ed. Guy Le Strange and R. A. Nicholson, as The Fársnáma of Ibnu’l-Balkhí, Cambridge, 1921, repr. London, 1962.

[Ebn Esfandiār] Moḥammad b. Ḥasan b. Esfandiār, Tāriḵ-e Ṭabarestān, ed. ʿAbbās Eqbāl, 2 vols., Tehran, 1941.

[Ebn al-Faqih] Abu Bakr Aḥmad b. Moḥammad Hamadāni, Moḵtaṣar Ketāb al-boldān, ed. M. J. de Goeje, Leiden, 1885.

Ebn Fażlān, Resāla (or Ketāb), ed. and comm. A. Zeki Validi Togan, as Ibn Faḍlān’s Reisebericht, Leipzig, 1939; facs. ed. and comm. A.P. Kovalevskii as Kniga Akhmeda ibn-Fadlana o ego puteshestvii na Volgu v 921-922 gg. (Aḥmad b. Fażlān’s book and his travels to the Volga in 921-922), Kharkov, 1956; tr. J. E. McKeithen, “The Risālah of Ibn Faḏlān: An Annotated Translation with Introduction,” Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1979.

[Ebn Ḥawqal] Abu’l-Qāsem b. Ḥawqal Naṣibi, Ketāb ṣurat al-arż, ed. J. H. Kramers, Leiden, 1938.

[Ebn Ḵordāḏbeh] Abu’l-Qāsem ʿObayd-Allāh b. ʿAbd-Allāh b. Ḵordāḏbeh, Ketāb al-masālek wa’l-mamālek, ed. M. J. de Goeje, Leiden, 1889.

[Ebn Meskawayh] Abu ʿAli Aḥmad b Moḥammad b. Meskawayh, Tajāreb al omam, part. ed. and tr. H. F. Amedroz and D. S. Margoliouth, as The Eclipse of the ʿAbbasid Caliphate: Original Chronicles of the Fourth Islamic Century, 7 vols., Oxford, 1920-21.

[Ebn al-Nadim] Abu’l-Faraj Moḥammad b. al-Nadim, Ketāt al-fehrest, ed. G. Flügel, 2 vols, Leipzig, 1871-72.

[Ebn Rosta] Abu ʿAli Aḥmad b. ʿOmar b. Rosta, Ketāb al-aʿlāq al-nafisa, ed. M. J. de Goeje, Leiden, 1892; tr. Ḥ. Qaračānlu, Tehran, 1986; part tr. D. A. Khvol’son as Izvestiya o Khozarakh, Burtasakh, Bolgarakh, Mad’yarakh, Slavyanakh i Russakh Abu-Ali Akhmeda ben Omar Ibn-Dasta [sic] (Reports on the Khazars, Burtas, Bulgars, Magyars, Slavs, and Russians of Abu ʿAli Aḥmad b. ʿOmar b. [R]osta), St. Petersburg, 1869.

[Ebn Taḡriberdi] Abu’l-Maḥāsen Jamāl al-Din Yusof b. Taḡriberdi, al-Nojum al-zāherafi moluk Meṣr wa’l-Qāhera, 16 vols., Cairo, 1964-72.

Abu Esḥāq Eṣṭaḵri, Ketāb masālek al-mamālek, ed. M. J. de Goeje, Leiden, 1870.

Abu Saʿid ʿAbd-al-Ḥayy Gardizi, Zayn al-aḵbār, ed. ʿA.-Ḥ. Ḥabibi, Tehran, 1968; passages on the Khazars in J. Pauler and S. Szilágyi, eds., A magyar honfoglalás kútföi, Budapest, 1900 (see also below, Géza; Barthold, 1897; Martinez).

Abu’l-Ḥasan Ḥamza Eṣfahāni, Ketāb taʾriḵ seni moluk al-arż wa’l-anbiāʾ, ed. and tr. into Latin J. M. E. Gottwaldt, 2 vols. St. Petersburg, 1844-48; repr. of the Arabic text, Beirut, 1961.

Ḥodud al-ʿālam, ed. M. Sotuda, Tehran, 1961; tr. and comm. by V. Minorsky, as Ḥodud al-ʿālam, The Regions of the World: A Persian Geography 372 A.H.-982 A.D., London, 1937, enl. and corrected ed., London, 1970.

Afżal-al-Din Ebrāhim Ḵāqāni, Divān, ed. Żiāʾ-al-Din Sajjādi, Tehran, 1959; repr. 1978.

Ẓahir-al-Din Marʿaši, Tāriḵ-e Ṭabarestān o Ruyān o Māzandarān, ed. ʿAbbās Šāyān, Tehran, 1954; ed. B. Dorn, as Muhammedanische Quellen zur Geschichte der Südlichen Küstenländer des Kaspischen Meers I: Sehir-eddin’s Geschichte von Tabarestan, Rujan und Mazandaran, St. Petersburg, 1850.

Abu’l-Ḥasan ʿAli Masʿudi, Moruj al-ḏahab, ed. and tr. Charles Barbier de Meynard and Abel Pavet de Courteille as Les prairies d’or, 9 vols., Paris, 1861-1917.

Idem, Ketāb al-tanbih wa’l-ešrāf, ed. M. J. de Goeje, Leiden, 1894.

Moḥammad b. Sayyed Borhān-al-Din Ḵᵛāvandšāh Mirḵᵛānd, Rawżat al-ṣafā, 10 vols., Tehran, 1960 (vols. IX-X are Hedāyat’s continuation of Mirḵᵛānd’s world history); part. ed., as Histoire des Sassanides par Mirkhond, Chrestomathies orientales, Paris, 1843.

Mojmal al-tawāriḵ wa’l-qeṣaṣ, ed. Malek-al-Šoʿarāʾ Moḥammad-Taqi Bahār, Tehran, 1939.

Abu ʿAbd-Allāh Moḥammad Moqaddasi, Aḥsan al-taqāsim fi maʿrefat al-aqālim, ed. M. J. de Goeje, Leiden, 1877; tr. Basil Collins as The Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions: A Translation of Ahsan al-Taqasim fi Marifat al-Aqalim, Reading, U.K., 1994.

Qodāma b. Jaʿfar, Ketāb al-ḵarāj, ed. M. J. de Goeje, Leiden, 1889.

Neẓāmi Ganjavi, Eskandar-nāma, ed. Ḥ. Waḥid Dastgerdi, 2nd ed., 7 vols., Tehran, 1956; tr. H. W. Clarke as The Sikandar Nāma e Bará, London, 1881 (English prose tr.); tr. J. C. Bürgel as Das Alexanderbuch, Iskandarname, Zurich, 1991 (German prose tr.); tr. K. Lipskerov as Iskender-nāma, Moscow, 1953 (Russian verse tr.).

Abu Manṣur ʿAbd-al-Malek Ṯaʿālebi, Ḡorar aḵbār moluk al-fors, ed. and tr. Hermann Zotenberg, as Histoire des rois des Perses, Paris, 1900.

Moḥammad b. Jarir Ṭabari, Ketāb taʾriḵ al-rosol wa’l-moluk, ed. M. J. de Goeje et al. as Annales quos scripsit Abu Djafar Mohammed Ibn Djarir at-Tabari, 15 vols. in 3 series, Leiden, 1879-1901; ed. M. A. Ebrāhim, 9 vols., Cairo, 1960-68); part. tr. Theodor Nöldeke as Geschichte der Perser und Araber, Leiden, 1879; tr. by various scholars as The History of al-Ṭabarī, ed. E. Yar-Shater, 39 vols., Albany, N. Y. 1985-99.

[Yāqut] Šehāb-al-Din Abu ʿAbd-Allāh Yāqut b. ʿAbd-Allāh Ḥamawi, Moʿjam al-boldān, ed. Ferdinand Wüstenfeld, 6 vols., Leipzig, 1866-73; 5 vols., Beirut, 1955-57.


Agatʿangełos (Agathangelos), Patmutʿiwn Hayocʿ, ed. G. Tēr-Mkrtčʿean and S. Kanayeancʿ, Tiflis, 1909, repr. Delmar, N.Y., 1980; tr. R. W. Thomson, as History of the Armenians, Albany, N.Y., 1976.

Ananias of Širak, Ašxarhacʻoycʻ, tr., introd., and comm. R. H. Hewsen, as The Geography of Ananias of Širak (Ašxarhacʻoycʻ): The Long and the Short Recensions, Wiesbaden, 1992.

Asołik (Stepanos of Taron), Tiezerakal patmutʿiwn; ed. S. Malkhasean, as Stepanosi Taronecʿwoy Asołkan Patmutʿiwn tiezerakan, St. Petersburg, 1885; Russ. tr. N. Emin, as Vseobshchaya istoriya Stepanosa Taronskogo Asokhika (Universal History of Stepanos of Taron Asołik), Moscow, 1864.

Hovhannēs (Yovhannēs) Drasxanakertcʿi, Patmutʿiwn Hayocʿ, Rus. tr. by M. O. Darbinjan-Melikjan, as Istoriya Armenii, Yerevan, 1986; tr. K. H. Maksoudian, as Yovhannēs Drasxanakertc’i: History of Armenia, Atlanta, Ga., 1987.

Kirakos Ganjakecʿi, Patmutʿiwn Hayocʿ, ed. K. Melikʿ-Ohanǰanyan, Yerevan, 1961.

Łewond (Lewond; Ghewond; etc.), Patmutʿiwn, ed. K. Patkanov, as Istoriya khalifov Vardapeta Gevonda, pisatelya VIII v., St. Petersburg, 1862; ed. I. Ezeancʿ, as PatmutʿiwnŁewondeay meci vardapeti Hayocʿ, St. Petersburg, 1897; tr. Garabed V. Chahnazarian, as Histoire des guerres et des conquêtes des Arabes en Arménie, Paris, 1858; tr. Zaven Arzoumanian, as The History of Lewond, the Eminent Vardapet of the Armenians, Philadelphia, 1982.

Movsēs Dasxurancʿi (or Kałankatuacʿi): Movsēsi Kałankatuacʿwoy Patmutʿiwn Ałuanicʿašxarhi, ed. M. Emin, Moscow 1860; repr. Tiflis, 1912; ed. V. D. Arakʿelyan, as Movsēsi Kałankatuacʿwoy Patmutʿiwn Ałuanicʿašxarhi, Yerevan, 1983; ed. Š. V. Smbatyan, as Movses Kalankatuaci:Istorja strany Aluank, Yerevan, 1984; see also below Dowsett (English translation).

Movsēs Xorenacʿi, HayocʿPatmutʿiwn, tr. R. W. Thomson as History of the Armenians, tr. R. W. Thomson, Cambridge, Mass., 1978; tr. J. P. and A. Mahé as Moïse de Khorène: Histoire de l’Arménie, Paris, 1993.

Sebēos, Patmutʿiwn; ed. T. Mihrdatian as Sebēosi Episkoposi i Herakln, Constantinopole, 1851; ed. G. Abgaryan, Erevan, 1979; tr. K. Patkanjan as Istoriya imperatora Irakla (History of the Emperor Heraclius), St. Petersburg 1862; tr. F. Macler as Histoire d’Héraclius, Paris, 1904.


Kartlis Cxovreba, ed. S. Qauxčišvili, 2 vols., Tbilisi, 1955 (see also below, Thomson, 1996).

“Martyrdom of Abo of Tbilisi,” in Jveli k’art’uli agiograpiuli literaturis jeglebi (Monuments of the Old Georgian hagiographic literature) I, ed. I. V. Abuladze (Abulaje), Tbilisi, 1964, pp. 46-81.

“Martyrdom of David and Constantine,” C’amebai da ğuac’li c’midata da didebulta moc’ameta Davit da K’ost’ant’inesi (The Martyrdom and Heroism of the Holy and Glorious Martyrs, David and Constantine), in Č’veni Saunje I, ed. K. Kekelidze (Kʾ. Kʾekʾelije), Tbilisi, 1960.

“Martyrdom of Šušanik,” Martʾwilobai Šušanikisi, ed. I. Abuladze (Abulaje) as Jakov Curtaveli, Mučeničestvo Šušanik: Gruzinskii i armjanskii teksty izdal i issledovanijem, variantami, slovarem i ukazatelem snabdil Ilja Abuladze, Tbilisi, 1938.

Mokcevai Kart’lisai, in E.S. Takaišvili [Taqaishvili], “Obrashcheniye Gruzii,” Sbornik Materialov dlja opisanija mestnostej i plemën Kavkaza 28, Tiflis, 1900.

“Passion of Evstati [Eustace] of Mcxeta,” in I. Abuladze (Abulaje), ed., Jveli kartuli agiograpʿiuli literaturis jeglebi (Monuments of the Old Georgian hagiographic literature) I, Tbilisi, 1964, pp. 30-45; ed. and tr. I. A. Javakhisvili and H. von Harnack in “Das Martyrium des heiligen Eustatius von Mzchetha,” SPAW 38, 1901, pp. 847, 875-902.


Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos, De Administrando Imperio, ed. J. Reiske as Constantini Porphyrogeniti Imperatoris De cerimoniis Aulae Byzantina, 2 vols., Bonn, 1829-30; ed. and tr. G. Moravcsik and R. J. H. Jenkins, as Constantine VII: De administrando imperio, Washington, D.C., 1967; tr. Ann Moffatt and Maxene Tall as The Book of Ceremonies; with the Greek Edition of the Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae, Byzantina Australiensia 18, 2 vols., Canberra, 2012.

George the Monk (Hamartolos), ed. I. Bekker as “Georgii Monachi, Vitae Imperatorum Recentiorum,” in Theophanes Continuatus, Ioannes Cameniata, Symeon Magister, Georgius Monachus, Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae, Bonn, 1838, pp. 762-924.

Nikephoros, Breviarium, ed. I. Bekker, as Sancti Nicephori Patriarcha Constantinopolitani Breviarium rerum post Mauricium gestarum, ed. I. Bekker, Bonn, 1836; ed. and tr. Cyril Mango, as Nikephoros Patriarch of Constantinople, Short History: Text, Translation and Commentary, Washington D.C., 1990.

Theophanes, Chronographia, ed. C. de Boor, as Theophanis Chronographia, 2 vols., Lipsiae, 1883-85; repr. Hildesheim, 1963; tr. Harry Turtledove, as The Chronicle of Theophanes: An English Translation of anni mundi 6095-6305 (A.D. 602-813), Philadelphia, 1982; tr. and comm. C. Mango and R. Scott with the assistance of G. Greatrex, as The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor: Byzantine and Near Eastern History AD 284-813, Oxford, 1997.


The so-called “Hebrew-Khazar Correspondence” (ca. 960 CE) consists of four documents: (1) “Letter by Hisday b. Šapruṭ,” the Jewish majordomo of the Omayyad Caliph of Cordoba ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III (912-961), penned by Menaḥem b. Sāruq, to the Khazar ruler Joseph; text in Kokovtsov, 1932, pp. 7-19. (2) “Reply of the Khazar King Joseph” (Short Recension) to Hisday b. Šapruṭ, together with Hisday b. Šapruṭ’s Letter in a 16th century copy is kept in Oxford, UK; the text is extremely close or even identical with the Constantinople editio princeps by Yiṣḥaq Aqrīsh (Qôl Mebassêr, 1577); text in Kokovtsov, 1932, pp. 19-26. (3) “Reply of the Khazar King Joseph” (Long Recension); this is not an autograph, but a 13th-century copy, containing many errors in transcript, especially in non-Hebrew names. It is worth recalling that this text passed through the hands of Abraham Firkowicz, and for this reason some scholars cast a shadow of doubt on the authenticity of this text. Some additions were made in Spain while copying this source (e.g., the never-existent “King ‘Obadiah” was inserted); text in Kokovtsov, 1932, pp. 26-33. (4) “Cambridge (or Schechter) Document,” a copy from the 12th century, found in the Cairo Genizah, which is a letter of a Khazar Jew, written, most probably, to the same Hisday b. Šapruṭ. The original must be dated ca. 342/954 CE. Dunlop (1954, pp. 156-57) made a plausible suggestion that it was written in Constantinople by a Khazar Jew and handed to Isaac son of Nathan (Yiṣḥaq bar Nāthān), the envoy of Hisday b. Šapruṭ, before the latter wrote his Letter to Joseph. It is kept in Cambridge, UK. The text is given in Kokovtsov, 1932, pp. 33-36; new edition in Golb and Pritsak, 1982, pp. 106-21; see also Schechter, 1912-13.) There are also other Hebrew texts relevant for the Correspondence. In the early 12th century, Yehudah b. Barzillay in Sepher ha-ʿIttīm mentioned the Reply, but probably had not seen the Letter of Hisday b. Šaprūṭ. Avraham b. Dāwūd (the late 12th century, Sepher ha-Qabbâlâh), knew the Letter and the Reply; Judah Halevy certainly knew the Corresepondence in some form. (See further, Lévi-Provençal; Grégoire, 1934, 1937a, 1937b). “The Kievan Letter,” sometimes seen as coming not from Kiev, but rather to Kiev (see Golb and Pritsak; Erdal, 2005; 2007; Zuckerman, 2011).


Liudprand, Bishop of Cremona, Liudprandi episcopi Cremonensis opera omnia: in usum scholarum ex Monumentis Germaniae historicis recusa, ed. Ernst Dümmler, Hannover, 1877.


The Russian Primary Chronicle: Laurentian Text, tr. S. H. Cross and O. P. Sherbowitz-Wetzor, Medieval Academy of America Publication 60, Cambridge, 1953.


Mirza A[lexandre] Kazem-Beg, Derbend-nâmeh, or the History of Derbend: Translated from a Select Turkish Version and Published with the Texts and with Notes, St. Petersburg, 1851.

Studies and other works.

M. I. Artamonov, Ocherk drevneĭsheĭ istorii Khazar (Essays on the ancient history of the Khazars), Leningrad, 1936.

Idem, Istoriya Khazar (History of the Khazars), Leningrad, 1962.

Idem, “The Khazars and the Formation of the Russian State,” in Ivar Spector and Marian Spector, eds., Readings in Russian History and Culture, Boston, 1965, pp. 3-13.

H. W. Bailey, “Iranian Studies I,” BSO(A)S 6, 1930-32, pp. 945-55. Idem, “Caucasica,” JRAS, 1943, pp. 1-5.

Idem, “Hārahunā,” in J. Schubert, compiler, Asiatica: Festschrift Friedrich Weller zum 65. Geburtstag gewidmet von seinen Freunden, Kollegen und Schülern, Leipzig, 1954, pp. 12-21.

G. M. Barats, Sobranie trudov po voprosu o evreĭskom èlemente v pamyatnikakh drevnerusskoĭ pis’mennosti (Collection of works on the issue of the Hebrew element in the monuments of Old Russian writing), Paris, 1927.

V. V. Bartol’d [W. Barthold], Otchet o poezdke v Srednyuyu Aziyu s nauchnoĭ tsel’yu, 1893-1894 gg. (Report on a trip to Central Asia…), Zapiski Imperatorskoĭ Akademii Nauk 1/4, St. Petersburg, 1897.

Idem, “Gardizi,” in idem, Sochineniya VIII: Raboty po istochnikovedeniyu, Moscow, 1973a, pp. 589-90.

Idem, “Izvlecheniya iz sochineniya Gardizi Zayn al-akhbār,” in idem, Sochineniya VIII: Raboty po istochnikovedeniyu, Moscow, 1973b, pp. 23-62.

W. Barthold and P. B. Golden, “Khazar,” Encyclopaedia of Islam: New Edition IV, Leiden, 1978, pp. 1172-81.

Ph. Berger and M. Schwab, “Le plus ancien manuscrit hébreu,” JA 2, 1913, pp.139-75.

M. Bíró, “Marwān ibn Muḥammad’s Georgian Campaign,” AOASH 29/3, 1975, pp. 289-99. Idem, “Abo’s Georgian ‘Vita,’” AOASH 31/2, 1977, pp. 247-59.

M.-F. Brosset, Histoire de la Géorgie depuis l’Antiquité jusqu’au XIXe siècle, St. Petersburg, 1856 (preface in French, text in Georgian; for translations of texts, see Thomson, 1996).

Yu. D. Brutskus [Brutzkus], “Pis’mo khazarskogo evreya ot X v,” Yevreyskaya misl’ 1, 1922, pp. 31-71.

Idem, Pis’mo khazarskago evreya ot X veka. Novye materialy po istorii Yuzhnoĭ Rossii vremen Igorya, Berlin, 1924.

Idem, “Chasaren,” Encyclopaedia Judaica IV, Berlin, 1930, pp. 338-50.

Idem, “Die Chazaren und das Kiewer Russland,” VIIe Congrès International des Sciences Historiques: Résumés des communications présentées au Congrès I, Warsaw, 1933, pp. 108-13.

Idem, “The Khazar Origin of Ancient Kiev,” Slavonic and East European Review 3/1, 1944, pp. 108-24.

C. Cahen, “Y-a-t-il eu des Rahdanites?” Revue des études Juives 3, 1964, pp. 499-505.

Idem, “Quelques questions sur les Radanites,” Der Islam 48/2, 1972, pp. 333-34. C. Cereti, The Zand ī Wahman Yasn: A Zoroastrian Apocalypse, Rome, 1995.

K. Czeglédy, “Herakleios török szövetségesei,” Magyar Nyelv 49, 1953, pp. 319-23.

Idem, “Khazar Raids in Transcaucasia in 762-764 A. D.,” AOASH 11/1, 1960, pp. 75-88.

Idem, “Bemerkungen zur Geschichte der Chazaren,” AOASH 13/3, 1961, pp. 239-51.

Idem, “Das sakrale Königtum bei den Steppenvölkern,” Numen. International Review for the History of Religions 13, 1966, pp. 14-26.

Dēnkard, ed. D. M. Madan as The Complete Text of the Pahlavi Dinkard, 2 vols., Bombay, 1911.

Bernhard Dorn, “Beiträge zur Geschichte der Kaukasischen Länder und Völker aus Morgenländischen Quellen. IV. Tabary’s Nachrichten über die Chasaren, nebst Auszügen aus Hafis Abru, Ibn Aasem el-Kufy, u. A.,” Mémoires de l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de St. Pétersbourg, Sér. sc. politiques 6, 1844, pp. 445-601.

C. J. F. Dowsett, The History of the Caucasian Albanians by Movsēs Dasxurancʿi, London 1961.

D. M. Dunlop, The History of the Jewish Khazars, Princeton, 1954.

Idem, “H. M. Baratz and His View of Khazar Influence on the Earliest Russian Literature, Juridical and Historical,” in Salo Wittmayer Baron Jubilee Volume on the Occasion of his Eightieth Birthday I, Jerusalem, 1975, pp. 345-67.

M. Erdal, “Khazarskiĭ Yazyk” (The Khazar language), in V. Petrukhin et al., eds., Khazary, Moscow and Jerusalem, 2005, pp. 125-39.

Idem, “The Khazar Language,” in P. B. Golden, H. Ben-Shammai and A. Roná-Tas, eds., The World of the Khazars, New Perspectives: Selected Papers from the Jerusalem 1999 International Khazar Colloquium, Leiden and Boston, 2007, pp. 75-108.

N. Z. Gadzhieva and B. A. Serebrennikov, “Areal’naya lingvistika i problema vosstanovleniya nekotory chert izcheznuvshikh yazykov” (Areal linguistics and the problem of restoring dead languages), Sovetskaya Tyurkologiya 3, 1977, pp. 6-16.

H. Göckenjan and I. Zimonyi, Orientalische Berichte über die Völker Osteuropas und Zentralasiens im Mittelalter: Die Ǧayhani-Tradition, Wiesbaden, 2001.

M. Gil, “The Rādhānite Merchants and the Land of Rādhān,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 17/3, 1974, pp. 299-328.

Idem, “Did the Khazars Convert to Judaism?” Revue des Études Juives 170/3-4, 2011, pp. 429-41.

N. Golb and O. Pritsak, Khazarian Hebrew Documents of the Tenth Century, Ithaca, NY, 1982.

P. B. Golden, “Hazar Dili,” Türk Dili Araştırmaları Yıllığı. Belleten, 1971, pp. 147-57.

Idem, “The Q’azaro-Hungarian Title/Personal Name يلك - ̉Ίέλεχ,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 1, 1975, pp. 37-43.

Idem, Khazar Studies: An Historico-Philological Inquiry into the Origins of the Khazars, 2 vols., Budapest, 1980.

Idem, “Khazaria and Judaism,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 3, 1983, pp. 127-56.

Idem, “Gosudarstvo i gosudarstvennost’ u Khazar: vlast’ Khazarskikh kaganov,” (State and statehood of the Khazar: The power of Khazar Qaḡans) in Fenomen vostochnogo despotizma: Struktura upravleniya i vlasti (The Phenomenon of Oriental despotism: The structure of governance and power), Moscow, 1993, pp. 211-33.

Idem, “Khazar Turkic Ghulâms in Caliphal Service,” JA 292/1-2, 2004, pp. 279-309.

Idem, “The Khazars and the Kazakhs: New Perspectives,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 14, 2005, pp. 281-98 (review of B. B. Irmukhanov, Khazary i Kazakhi).

Idem, “Khazarica: Notes on Some Khazar Terms,” Turkic Languages 9, 2006, pp. 205-22.

Idem, “Irano-Turkica: The Khazar Sacral Kingship Revisited,” AOASH 60/2, 2007a, pp. 161-94.

Idem, “Khazar Studies: Achievements and Perspectives,” in P. B. Golden, H. Ben-Shammai and A. Roná-Tas eds, The World of the Khazars: New Perspectives. Selected Papers from the Jerusalem 1999 International Khazar Colloquium, Leiden and Boston, 2007b, pp. 7-57.

Idem, “The Conversion of the Khazars to Judaism,” in P. B. Golden, H. Ben-Shammai and A. Roná-Tas eds, The World of the Khazars: New Perspectives. Selected Papers from the Jerusalem 1999 International Khazar Colloquium, Leiden and Boston, 2007c, pp. 123-62.

Z. Gombocs, Die bulğarisch-türkischen Lehnwörter in der ungarischen Sprache, Helsinki, 1912.

H. Grégoire, “La vérité sur le Judaïsme des Khazars,” Byzantion 9, 1934, pp. 484-88 (review of Peeters, 1934).

Idem, “Le ‘Glozel’ Khazare,” Byzantion 12, 1937a, pp. 225-66. Idem, “Le ‘Glozel Khazare’: M. Brutzkus et le ‘dernier bateau,’” Byzantion 12, 1937b, pp. 739-40.

M. Gyóni, “Kalizok, kazárok, kabarok, magyarok,” Magyar Nyelv 34, 1938, pp. 86-96, 159-68.

Gy. Györffy, Tanulmányok a magyar állam eredetérõl: a nemzetsegtol a varmegyeig, a torzstol az orszagig: Kurszan es Kurszanvara, Budapest, 1959 (esp. pp. 44-60).

H.-W. Haussig, “Die Praxis des Warenaustausches im Warägerhandel mit den chasarischen Märkten Sarkel und Itil,” in K. Düwel et al. eds., Untersuchungen zu Handel und Verkehr der vor- und frühgeschichtlichen Zeit in Mittel- und Nordeuropa IV, Göttingen, 1987, pp. 528-44.

W. B. Henning, “A Farewell to the Khagan of the Aq-Aqatärān,” BSOAS 14/3, 1952, pp. 501-22 (=Acta Iranica 15, W.B. Henning Selected Papers II, Liège 1977, pp. 387-408).

J. Howard-Johnston, “The Official History of Heraclius’ Persian Campaigns,” in E. Dąbrowa, ed., The Roman and Byzantine Army in the East, Cracow, 1994, pp. 57-87.

Idem, “Heraclius’ Persian Campaigns and the Revival of the East Roman Empire, 622-630” War in History 6/1, 1999, pp. 1-44.

L. Hunyadi, “A Schechter-féle szövegi egy névtelen kazár zsidó levele Haszdai ibn Sapruthoz,” in András Róna-Tas, ed., Forrasók a korai magyar történelem ismeretéhez, Budapest, 2001, pp. 160-70.

G. Huxley, “Byzantinochazarika,” Hermathena 148, 1990, pp. 69-87.

V. M. Istrin, ed. and tr., Knigy vremin’nyya i obraznyya Georgiya mnikha: khronika Georgiia Amartola v drevnem slavianorusskom perevodie (The Chronicle of George Hamartolos, tr. from Old Slavonic-Russian), vol. I, Petrograd, 1920.

M. Kmosko, “Araber und Chasaren,” Körösi Csoma Archivum 1/5, 1925, pp. 356-68. A. Koestler, The Thirteenth Tribe: The Khazar Empire and Its Heritage, New York, 1976.

P. K. Kokovtsov, Novyĭ evreyskiĭ dokument o Khazarakh i khazaro-russko-vizantiĭskikh otnosheniyakh v X veke (New Hebrew document on the Khazars and Khazar-Rus’-Byzantine relations in the 10th century), St. Petersburg, 1913 (from Zhurnal ministerstva narodnago prosvieshcheniya n.s. 48, 1913, pp. 150-72.

Idem, Evreĭsko-khazarskaya perepiska v X veke (Jewish-Khazar correspondence in the 10th century), Leningrad 1932, pp. 7-19.

S. Kordosis, “The Depiction of a Khazar Selling Caviar in the Monastery of Vlachernae, Arta,” in Christos Stavrakos, ed., Inscriptions in the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine History and History of Art Proceedings of the International Symposium ‘Inscriptions: Their Contribution to the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine History and History of Art’ (Ioannina, June 26-27, 2015), Wiesbaden, 2016, pp. 111-35.

R. K. Kovalev, “What Does Historical Numismatics Suggest about the Monetary History of Khazaria in the Ninth Century? — Question Revisited,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 13, 2004, pp. 97-129.

Idem, “Creating Khazar Identity through Coins: The Special Issue Dirhams of 837/8,” in F. Curta, ed., East Central and Eastern Europe in the Early Middle Ages, Ann Arbor, 2005, pp. 220-53. Gy. Kristó, Hungarian History in the Ninth Century, tr. Gyórgy Novák, Szeged, 1996.

Y. F. Kuz’min-Jumanadi, “O gebraizmakh v chuvashskom yazyke,” (On Hebraisms in the Chuvash Language), Sovetskaya Tyurkologiya 2, 1987, pp. 69-76.

D. M. Lang, Lives and Legends of the Georgian Saints, London 1956, pp. 115-33.

E. de la Vaissière, Histoire des marchands Sogdiens, Paris, 2002.

E. Lévi-Provençal, “Un échange d’ambassades entre Cordoue et Byzance au IXe siècle,” Byzantion 12, 1937, pp. 1-24 (outdated and unjustifiably hypercritical).

T. Lewicki, “Un peuple iranien peu connu: les *Arsīya ou Orsīya,” in Gy. Káldy-Nagy, ed., Hungaro-Turcica: Studies in Honour of Julius Németh, Budapest, 1976, pp. 31-33.

A. Libin and D. D. Y. Shapira, “Khazarskaya paradigm Stalina (k voprosu o razvitii monisticheskogo vzglyada na istoriyu)” (Stalin’s Khazar paradigm: The problem of a monistic view of history), Paralleli (Haḳbalot) 10, 2008, pp. 111-60.

D. Ludwig, Struktur und Gesellschaft des Chazaren-Reiches im Licht der schriftlichen Quellen, Münster, 1982, pp. 161-63.

C. A. Macartney, The Magyars in the Ninth Century, Cambridge, UK, 1968.

M. McCormick, Origins of the European Economy: Communications and Commerce AD 300-900, Cambridge, 2001 (esp. pp. 688-95).

Ja. A. Manandjan, “Marshruty persidskikh pokhodov imp. Irakliya” (The Routes of Heraclius’ Persian Campaigns), Vizantiyskiy Vremennik, n.s. 3, 1950, pp. 133-53.

J. Marquart (Markwart), Die Chronologie der alttürkischen Inschriften: mit einem Vorwort und Anhang, Leipzig, 1898.

Idem, Ērāns̆ahr nach der Geographie des ps. Moses Xorenac’i: mit historisch-kritischen Kommentar und historischen und topographischen Excursen, Berlin, 1901.

Idem, Osteuropäische und ostasiatische Streifzüge: ethnologische und historisch-topographische Studien zur Geschichte des 9. und 10. Jahrhunderts (ca. 840-940), Leipzig, 1903.

dem, A Catalogue of the Provincial Capitals of Ērānshahr: Pahlavi Text, Version and Commentary, ed. G. Messina, Rome, 1931.

Gr. Kuun Géza, “Gurdēzī a törökökröl,” Keleti Szemle IV.1-4, Budapest 1903, pp. 17-41, 129-41, 257-87, 131-41.

A. P. Martinez, “Gardizi’s Two Chapters on the Turks,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 2, 1982, pp. 109-217.

J. de Menasce, Une apologétique mazdéene du IXe siècle,Škand-Gumānīk Vičār: La Solution décisive des doutes, Fribourg, Switzerland, 1945.

V. Minorsky, Sharaf al-Zamān Ṭāhir Marvazī on China, the Turks and India. Arabic text (circa A.D. 1120) with an English translation and commentary, London, 1942.

Idem, A History of Sharvān and Darband in the 10th-11th Centuries, Cambridge, 1958. Idem, Istoriya Shirvana i Derbenda X-XI vekov (History of Šervān and Darband, 10th-11th centuries), Moscow, 1963.

Idem, “Khāqānī and Andronicus Comnenus,” BSOAS 11/3, 1945, pp. 550-78.

M. Molé, La Légende de Zoroastre selon les textes pehlevis, Paris, 1967.

V. Mošin (Moshin), “Les Khazares et les Byzantins d’après l’Anonyme de Cambridge,” Byzantion 6, 1931, pp. 309-25.

Idem, “Rus’ i Khazariya pri Svyatoslave” (Rus’ and Khazaria under Svyatoslav), Seminarum Kondakovianum 6, Prague, 1933, pp. 187-208.

Idem, “Khel’gu Khazarskogo dokumenta” (Khel’gu of the Khazar document), Slavia 15, Prague 1938, pp. 191-200.

S.A. Naumenko and S.I. Bezuglov, “Noviye nakhodki vizantiĭskikh i iranskikh importov v stepyakh Podon’ya” (New finds of Byzantine and Arab imports in the steppes of the Don region), Donskaya Arkheologiya 1, 1999, pp. 35-42.

Th. Nöldeke, Geschichte der Perser und Araber zur Zeit der Sasaniden. Aus der Arabischen Chronik des Tabari-übers und mit ausführlichen Erläuterungen und Ergänzungen versehn, Leiden, 1879; rep. 1973.

Th. S. Noonan, “Did the Khazars Possess a Monetary Economy? An Analysis of the Numismatic Evidence,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 2, 1982, pp. 219-67.

Idem, “Russia’s Eastern Trade, 1150-1350: The Archaeological Evidence,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 3, 1983a, pp. 201-64.

Idem, “What Does Historical Numismatics Suggest about the History of Khazaria in the Ninth Century?” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 3, 1983b, pp. 265-81.

Idem, “Why Dirhams Reached Russia: The Role of Arab-Khazar Relations in the Development of the Earliest Islamic Trade with Eastern Europe,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 4, 1984, pp. 151-282.

Idem, “Khazaria as an Intermediary Between Islam and Eastern Europe in the Second Half of the Ninth Century: The Numismatic Perspective,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 5, 1985 [1987], pp. 175-204.

Idem, “When Did Rūs/Rus’ Merchants First Visit Khazaria and Baghdad?” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 7, 1987-91, pp. 213-19.

Idem, “Byzantium and the Khazars: A Special Relationship?” in J. Shepard and S. Franklin, eds., Byzantine Diplomacy: Papers from the Twenty-fourth Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, Cambridge, March 1990, Hampshire, U. K., 1992, pp. 109-32.

Idem, “What Can Archaeology Tell Us About the Economy of Khazaria,” in B. Genito, ed., The Archaeology of the Steppes: Methods and Strategies: Papers from the International Symposium held in Naples 9-12 November 1992, Naples, 1994, pp. 331-45.

Idem, “The Khazar Economy,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 9, 1995-97, pp. 253-318.

Idem, “The Khazar Qaghanate and its Impact on the Early Rus’ State: The translatio imperii from Itil to Kiev,” in A. M. Khazanov and A. Wink eds., Nomads in the Sedentary World, Richmond, U.K., 2001, pp. 76-102.

J. J. Norwich, Byzantium: The Early Centuries, New York, 1989.

A. P. Novosel’tsev, Khazarskoye gosudarstvo i ego rol’ v istorii Vostochnoĭ Evropy i Kavkaza (The Khazar state and its role in the history of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus), Moscow, 1990.

D. Obolensky, “The Empire and its Northern Neighbours 565-1018,” in J. Bury ed., The Cambridge Medieval History IV/1, 2nd ed., Cambridge, 1966, pp. 473-518.

V. Parkhomenko, “Kievskaya Rus’ i Khazariya (Rol’ khazarskogo torgovogo kapitala v istorii Kievskoĭ derzhavy)” (Kievan Rus’ and the Khazars: The role of the Khazar trade capital and the history of Kievan power) Slavia 6, 1927-1928, pp. 380-87.

G. Pätsch, “Die Bekehrung Georgiens Mokcevay Kartlisay (Verfasser unbekannt),” Bedi Kartlisa: Revue de kartvélogie 33, 1975, pp. 288-337.

Idem, Das Leben Karli’s: Eine Chronik aus Georgien, 300-1200, Leipzig, 1985.

P. Peeters, “Les Khazars dans la Passion de S. Abo de Tiflis,” Analecta Bollandiana 52, 1934, 21-56.

Idem, “Sainte Šoušanik, martyre en Arméno-Géorgie,” Analecta Bollandiana 53, 1935, pp. 5-48.

Gy. Pauler and S. Szilágyi, A magyar honfoglalás kútföi, Budapest, 1995 (first published in 1900 by Magyar tudományos akadémia of Budapest).

V. Y. Petrukhin, “The Normans and the Khazars in the South of Rus’ (The Formation of the ‘Russian Land’ in the Middle Dnieper Area),” Russian History/Histoire russe 19, 1992, pp. 393-400.

Idem, “The Rus’ and Khazaria: Their Historical Connections,” in V. Petrukhin et al., eds., Khazary, Jews and Slavs 16, Jerusalem and Moscow, 2005, pp. 69-101.

Idem, “Khazaria and Rus’: An Examination of Their Historical Relations,” in P. B. Golden, H. Ben-Shammai, and A. Roná-Tas, eds., The World of the Khazars, New Perspectives: Selected Papers from the Jerusalem 1999 International Khazar Colloquium, Leiden and Boston, 2007, pp. 245-68.

S. A. Pletnyova, Sarkel’ i “Shyelkovyi” Put’ (Sarkel and the “Silk” Road), Moscow, 1996.

O. Pritsak, “The Khazar Kingdom’s Conversion to Judaism,” Harvard Ukranian Studies 2/3, 1978, pp. 261-81.

Idem, The Origin of Rus’, Cambridge, Mass., 1981.

Idem, Pokhodzhennia Rusi: Starodavni skandynavs’ki sagy i Stara Skandinaviya (The Origins of the Rus’: The Old Scandinavian sagas and Old Scandinavia), Kiev, 2003.

A. Róna-Tas, Hungarians and Europe in the Early Middle Ages: An Introduction to Early Hungarian History, Budapest, 1999.

S. Schechter, “An Unknown Khazar Document,” Jewish Quarterly Review, N. S., 3/2, 1912-13, pp. 182-219.

K. Schultze, “Das Martyrium des heiligen Abo von Tiflis,” Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Altchristlichen Literatur, NF 13/4, 1905, pp. 4-41.

D. Shapira, “Two Names of the First Khazar Jewish Beg,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 10, 1998-99, pp. 231-40.

Idem, “Yitshaq Sangari, Sangarit, Bezalel Stern, and Avraham Firkowicz: Notes on Two Forged Inscriptions,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 12, 2002-3, pp. 223-60. Idem, “Nyneshneie sostoyaniie pripisok rukopiseĭ Pervoe Kollektsiy Firkovicha” (The Present state of some colophons and marginalia on the Bible manuscripts in the First Firkowicz Collection), Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Jewish Studies I, Moscow, 2004, pp. 102-30.

Idem, “Judaization of Central Asian Traditions as Reflected in the so-called Jewish-Khazar Correspondence, with Two Excurses: A. Judah Halevy’s Quotations: B. Eldad Ha-Dani (Judaeo-Turkica VI) With An Addendum,” in V. Petrukhin et al., eds., Khazary, Jews and Slavs 16, Jerusalem and Moscow, 2005, pp. 503-21.

Idem, “Stray Notes on Aksum and Himyar,” Universum HagiographicaumMemorial R. P. Michel van Esbroeck, S.J. (1934-2003), Scrinium 2, St. Petersburg, 2006, pp. 433-43.

Idem, “Notes on Early Jewish History in Eastern and Central Europe: The Rus’, Khazar and Bulğar Dimensions,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 15, 2006-7, pp. 125-57.

Idem, “Khazars and Karaites, Again,” Karadeniz Araştırmaları 13 (Studies in Memoriam of Omeljan Pritsak), 2007a, pp. 43-64.

Idem, “Armenian and Georgian Sources on the Khazars: A Re-Evaluation,” in P. B. Golden, H. Ben-Shammai, and A. Roná-Tas, eds., The World of the Khazars: New Perspectives. Selected Papers from the Jerusalem 1999 International Khazar Colloquium, Leiden and Boston, 2007b, pp. 307-52.

Idem, “Iranian Sources on the Khazars,” in P.B. Golden, H. Ben-Shammai, and A. Roná-Tas, eds., The World of the Khazars: New Perspectives. Selected Papers from the Jerusalem 1999 International Khazar Colloquium, Leiden and Boston, 2007c, pp. 291-306.

Idem, “The Mejelis ‘Document’ and Tapani Harviainen: On Scholarship, Firkowicz and Forgeries,” in Mehmet Alpargu and Yücel Özturk, eds., Omeljan Pritsak Armağanı / A Tribute to Omeljan Pritsak, Sakarya, 2007d, pp. 303-93.

Idem, “Iconoclasts and Khazars, a Note,” in V. Baranov, D. Birjukov, and B. Lourié, eds., Patrologia Pacifica: Selected Papers Presented to Western Pacific Rim Patristics Society 3rd Annual Conference (Nagoya, Japan, September 29 – October 1, 2006) and other Patristic Studies, Scrinium 4, St. Petersburg, 2009, pp. 341-47.

Idem, ed., Matsevot bet ha-ʿalmin shel ha-Yehudim ha-Ḳaraʿim be-Ts’ufuṭ-Ḳalʿeh, Ḳrim; duaḥ mishlaḥat epigrafit shel Mekhon Ben-Tsevi: ḳovets meḥḳarim/The Tombstones of the Cemetery of the Karaite Jews in Çufut-Qalʿeh (The Crimea): Report of the Ben-Zvi Institute Expedition, a Collection of Studies, Jerusalem, 2008.

Idem, “On the Relative Value of Armenian Sources for the Khazar Studies: The Case of the Siege of Tbilisi,” in Uwe Bläsing, Victoria Arekelova, and Matthias Weinreich, eds., Studies on Iran and the Caucasus in Honour of Garnik Asatrian, Leiden, 2015, pp. 45-62.

Idem, “The Khazar Account on the Ardebil War and the Problem of its Authenticity,” in István Zimonyi and Osman Karatay, eds., Eurasia in the Middle Ages: Studies in Honour of Peter Golden, Turcologica 104, Wiesbaden, 2016, pp. 313-36.

J. Shepard, “The Khazars’ Formal Adoption of Judaism and Byzantium’s Northern Policy,” Oxford Slavonic Papers, N.S., 31, 1998.

Shaul Stampfer, “Did the Khazars Convert to Judaism?” Jewish Social Studies 19/3, 2014, pp. 1-72.

Idem, “Are We All Khazars Now?” Jewish Review of Books 17, Spring 2014, pp. 40-42.

H. Stang, The Naming of Russia, Oslo, 1996.

B. Z. Takács, “Khazars, Pechenegs and Hungarians in the Ninth Century,” in Hasan Celâl Güzel, C. Cem Oguz, and Osman Karatay, eds., The Turks I: Early History, Ankara, 2002, pp. 524-32.

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R. W. Thomson, “The Anonymous Story-Teller (Also Known as ‘Pseudo-Šapuh’),” Revue des études arméniennes NS 21, 1988-89, pp. 171-232.

Idem, “The Armenian Version of the Georgian Chronicles,” Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies 5, 1990-91, pp. 81-90.

Idem, Rewriting Caucasian History: The Medieval Armenian Adaptation of the Georgian Chronicles. The Original Georgian Texts and the Armenian Adaptation, Oxford, 1996.

B. Utas, “The Jewish-Persian Fragment from Dandān-Uiliq,” Orientalia Suecana 17, 1968, pp. 123-36.

G. Vernadsky, Ancient Russia, New Haven, 1943.

B. Dov Weinryb, “The Khazars, an Annotated Bibliography,” Studies in Bibliography and Booklore, VI/3, 1963, pp. 111-29.

Wu Chi-yu, “Le manuscript hébreu de Touen-houang,” in J.-P. Drège, ed., De Dunhuang au Japon: études chinoises et bouddhiques offertes à Michel Soymié, Hautes Études Orientales, 31, Genève, 1996, pp. 259-91.

A. Yarmolinsky, “The Khazars: a Bibliography,” Bulletin of the New York Public Library, Slavonic Division 42, 1939, pp. 696-710.

Idem, “The Khazars: (an annotated) Bibliography,” Bulletin of the New York Public Library 43, 1959, pp. 237-41.

C. Zuckerman, “On the Date of the Khazars’ Conversion to Judaism and the Chronology of the Kings of the Rus Oleg and Igor: A Study of the Anonymous Khazar Letter from the Genizah of Cairo,” Revue des Études Byzantines 53, 1995, pp. 237-70.

Idem, “Deux étapes de la formation de l’ancien état russe,” in M. Kazanski, A. Nersessian, and C. Zuckerman, eds., Les centres proto-urbains russes entre Scandinavie, Byzance et Orient, Paris, 2000, pp. 95-120.

Idem, “Khazary i Vizantiya: pervyie kontakty” (Khazars and Byzantium: the first encounter), Materialy po arkheologii, istorii i `etnografii Tavrii VIII, Simferopol, 2001, pp. 312-33.

Idem, “The Khazars and Byzantium – The First Encounter,” in P. B. Golden, H. Ben-Shammai, and A. Roná-Tas, eds., The World of the Khazars: New Perspectives. Selected Papers from the Jerusalem 1999 International Khazar Colloquium, Leiden and Boston, 2007, pp. 399-432.

Idem, “On the Kievan Letter from the Genizah of Cairo,” Ruthenica 10, 2011, pp. 7-56.

Cite this page
Dan Shapira, “KHAZARS”, in: Encyclopaedia Iranica Online, © Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York. Consulted online on 23 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2330-4804_EIRO_COM_12395>
First published online: 2020

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