The Jews of Khazaria / Edition 2

The Jews of Khazaria / Edition 2

4.8 6
by Kevin Alan Brook
     
 

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ISBN-10: 074254981X

ISBN-13: 9780742549814

Pub. Date: 09/27/2006

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

This book chronicles the eventful history of the Turkic kingdom of Khazaria, which was located in eastern Europe and flourished as an independent state from about 650 to 1016.

As a major world power, Khazaria enjoyed diplomatic and trade relations with many peoples and nations (including the Byzantines, Alans, Magyars, and Slavs) and changed the course of

Overview

This book chronicles the eventful history of the Turkic kingdom of Khazaria, which was located in eastern Europe and flourished as an independent state from about 650 to 1016.

As a major world power, Khazaria enjoyed diplomatic and trade relations with many peoples and nations (including the Byzantines, Alans, Magyars, and Slavs) and changed the course of medieval history in many ways. For instance, the Arab-Khazar wars established the Caucasus Mountains as a boundary between the Islamic world to the south and the Slavo-Turkic world to the north; Khazarian warriors participated in the founding of the kingdom of Hungary beyond the Carpathians; Khazarian princesses married into the Byzantine royal family; and Khazars played a part in founding the city of Kiev on the Dnieper River. Some even speculate that the two-king governmental system of the early Rus was derived from that of the Khazars.

In the ninth century, the Khazarian royalty and nobility as well as a significant portion of the Khazarian Turkic population embraced the Jewish religion. After their conversion, as this book proves, the Khazars were ruled by a succession of Jewish kings and began to adopt the hallmarks of Jewish civilization, including the Torah and Talmud, the Hebrew script, and the observance of Jewish holidays. A portion of the empire's population adopted Christianity and Islam.

This volume traces the development of the Khazars from their early beginnings as a tribe to the decline and fall of their kingdom. It presents historical and archaeological evidence relating to the weaponry, agriculture, horticulture, burial practices, architecture, and customs of the Khazar people. It also examines the many migrations of the Khazar people into Hungary, Ukraine, and other areas of Europe and their subsequent assimilation, providing the most comprehensive treatment of this complex issue to date. The book presents exciting archaeological data -- from sites near Chelarevo (now in Serbia), Ellend (Hungary), Navahrudak (Belarus), and other towns -- which seems to demonstrate the existence of Turkic-Jewish communities in central and eastern Europe far beyond the borders of the Khazar kingdom.

The final chapter enumerates the Jewish communities of eastern Europe which sprung up after the fall of Khazaria and proposes that the Jews from the former Russian Empire are descended from a mixture of Khazar Jews, German Jews, Greek Jews, and Slavs.

The book also includes a map of the Khazar kingdom; a map of Khazarian-ruled Crimea; several tables illustrating royal genealogies, king lists, and the Turkic language family; a glossary of Khazarian words and other important terms which may be unfamiliar to readers; and an extensive bibliography of articles, books, and other essays.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742549814
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
09/27/2006
Edition description:
Second Edition
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.47(w) x 9.35(h) x 1.12(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1 -- THE ORIGINS OF THE KHAZARS
The Turkic Heritage
Legends about the Beginnings of the Jewish Khazars
The Khazars and the Huns
The Western Turkish Empire
The Formation of an Independent Khazar Kingdom
The Effects of Khazar Expansion on the Bulgars
Chapter 2 -- THE CITIES AND TOWNS OF THE KHAZARS
The Capital Cities of Khazaria
Atil and Khazaran
Balanjar
Chernigov
Cherson
Chufut-Kale
Doros
Feodosia
Kara Tobe
Kerch
Kiev
Samandar
Sarkel
Sudak
Tmutorokan (Samkarsh)
Verkhneye Saltovo and Other Saltovo Settlements
Yevpatoria (Gusli-ev)
Other Khazar Settlements
The Peoples of the Khazar Empire
Chapter 3 -- THE STRUCTURE OF THE KHAZAR GOVERNMENT
The Kagan
The Bek (King) and His Army
The Kender and the Javishgar
The Tarkhan
The Court Panel
The Local Governors
Taxation
Tributary Peoples
The "Kagans" of Kievan Rus
Chapter 4 -- THE KHAZAR WAY OF LIFE
Languages Spoken by the Khazars
Khazar Arts and Crafts
Khazar Agriculture and Food-Gathering
The Structure of Khazar Homes
Khazar Costume and Hairstyle
Khazar Graves
Chapter 5 -- KHAZARIAN TRADE
Khazaria as a Great Medieval Trading Center
The Jewish Radhanites
Rus Traders in Khazaria
Arab Traders in Khazaria
Chinese Traders in Khazaria
Coinage
Chapter 6 -- THE KHAZARS' CONVERSION TO JUDAISM
Preludes to Conversion
Khazaria as a Refuge for Persecuted Jews
Khazar Shamanism
Saint Cyril's Khazarian Mission
King Bulan's Conversion
The Schechter Letter
The Khazar Correspondence
The Kievan Letter
The Degree of Judaization Among the Khazars
Archaeological Evidence
Conclusions
Chapter 7 -- RELATIONS BETWEEN THE KHAZARS AND OTHER PEOPLES
The Arab-Khazar Wars and Relations with Leaders of the South Caucasus
Relations with the Byzantine Empire
Relations with the Alans
Relations with Other Turkic Tribes
Relations with the Hungarians
Relations with the Rus
Chapter 8 -- THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE KHAZAR EMPIRE
The Beginning of the End
The Rus'ian Conquest of the Khazars
The Passing of the Khazar Empire
Reasons for Khazaria's Destruction
Chapter 9 -- THE DIASPORA OF THE KHAZARS
Khazars in Hungary
Khazars in Romania
Khazars in Lithuania and Belarus
Khazars in Poland
Khazars in Ukraine
Khazars in Turkey
Khazars in Spain
Khazars in Azerbaijan
Khazars in the North Caucasus
Khazars in Russia
Khazars in Kazakhstan
Khazars in Other Parts of the World
Chapter 10 -- THE PHENOMENON OF PROSELYTISM
Judaism among the Avars
Judaism among the Cumans
Judaism among the Alans
European Converts to Judaism
The Sabbatarians
The Subbotniki
Wexler's Theory of Proselytism among the West Slavs
Converts in Adiabene
Converts among Semitic Tribes of Greater Israel
Converts in Yemen
Converts in Ethiopia
Converts in North Africa
Chapter 11 -- EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPEAN JEWS AFTER THE TENTH CENTURY
The Origins of the Ashkenazim
Jews in Medieval Ukraine
The Early Jews of Poland
Jews in Lithuania and Belarus
Jews in Hungary
Jews in Historic Romania
The Krymchaks
The Crimean and Lithuanian Karaites
Conclusions
Summary
Appendix: A Timeline of Khazar History
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

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The Jews of Khazaria 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PaulHosse1 More than 1 year ago
Controversial and riveting. These are the two words which first come to mind after reading Kevin Allen Brook's book, "The Jews of Khazaria". The book examines, first, who the Khazars were and where they came from. It manages to piece together from scant history these mysterious peoples who, within a relatively short period of time went to a group of unknown Asiatic tribes, subjected by many, including Attila the Hun, to become the central player in Eastern European and Central Asian politics. Khazaria maintains near domination of the Silk Road from China. It absorbed the shock of the expanding Moslem hordes and in the process both protected European trade routes, culture, and religion from the expanding Islamic Empire. Yet, in the end, despite its strategic importance, Khazaria falls and the Jews are once again scattered to the winds. During this turbulent process, Khazaria become the first Jewish nation since the fall of Judah and Israel. Why would a conglomeration of Asiatic tribes, who, for perhaps thousands of years, followed a nature oriented shamanic path, adopt a mono-theocratic Middle Eastern religion? Where did these once economically and politically powerful people go after the fall of their nation? What became of their craftsmen and artisans, for which they were renowned? Even more to the point, who are Ashkenazis of Eastern Europe and are they somehow related to the Khazars? An excellent read for anyone interested is Judaism, Islam, the Byzantine Empire, ancient history, or just likes a good historical mystery!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about the fascinating ancient Jewish People of Khazaria. The book is brilliant. The material in the book is fundamental and rich. It is excellently written with academic objectivity and a positive attitude toward historical facts. The organization of writing is original. It doesn't include color illustration or ornaments, but you can feel around the open space of a wide panorama. Turn the page and you can 'hear' the sound of the Caspian sea... turn more and you can 'see' Mongolian horsemen and Khazarian people. For young inquisitive minds as well as for learned religious elite this book opens myriad new avenues to look at, to love Jewish people and to be proud of them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brook does an excellent job in broaching this topic that many have attempted before him, and I'm sure many will attempt after. Considering how little is known about Khazaria, how much history has been either censored or re-written by the former Soviet Union, and the relatively sparse amount of archaeological work that has been conducted in the region, Brook brings much information to light, detailing the tribal and linguistic origins of the Khazars. In comparison with Koestler's 'The Thirteenth Tribe,' Brook's work is more about presenting facts than coming to conclusions. I would encourage everyone interested in this book, this subject and in modern Judaism in general to remember that 'conclusions' are based on current and past knowledge, not on future discoveries. Sarkel is still under water and will continue to be for the foreseeable future -- who knows what information it holds? People have been twisting the ideas and findings discussed in 'The Thirteenth Tribe' and 'The Jews of Khazaria' to promote hatred for Jews for quite some time. That's not the purpose of these works, as Arthur Koestler himself addressed at the end of 'The Thirteenth Tribe.' I've also used the bibliography to further my own knowledge, although I have found that many of the sources are out-of-print. I look forward to learning more about the Khazars, who they were and who they became -- for today, I highly recommend Brook's 'The Jews of Khazaria.' It is excellently written, a fascinating work and will open it's readers eyes to some lesser known history. Savor it, but don't rush to judgement!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really helped me understand every aspect of the Khazars. From culture to government, i learned it all. I knew the Jewish people were dispersed throughout the world but I never imagined there was a Jewish empire in southern Russia.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first comprehensive history on the Jews of Khazaria. Another necessity in the library devoted to the origins of the Jewish people.