Ancient and medieval history of mankind holds many mysteries.Even at the present level of technology in the study of most of the issues are still present white spots.
Who were the Khazars?This is one of those tasks without a clear answer.We know a bit about them, but even if you collect all the existing mention of this nation, it becomes even more questions.
Let's get acquainted closer with these interesting people.
Who are Khazars
This tribe - the Khazars - first mentioned in Chinese sources as part of the population of the great empire of the Huns.Researchers led several hypotheses about the origin of the ethnonym and the ancestral homeland of the Khazars.
Let us first deal with the name.The root of the "goats" in many languages of Central Asia is a series of words related to the nomadism.This version seems the most plausible, because the rest are as follows.Farsi "Khazars" means "thousand", the Romans called the Emperor Caesar, and the Turks understand by the word depression.
homeland of trying to identify at the earliest records, which mention the Khazars.Where their ancestors, who were nearest neighbors?No definite answer until now.
There are three equivalent theory.The first considers the Uighurs by their ancestors, the second - the Hun tribes Akatsirs, and the third is inclined to believe that the Khazars - descendants of tribal alliance Ogurs and Savirs.
Like it or not, is difficult to answer.One thing is clear.The origin of the Khazars and the beginning of their expansion to the west due to the earth, which they called Barsils.
mention in written sources
If we analyze the data from the notes of his contemporaries, too, turns out the confusion.
On the one hand, existing sources said that the Khazar Khanate was a powerful empire.On the other - those bits of information that are contained in the notes of travelers, can not be absolutely nothing to illustrate.
most comprehensive source that reflects the state of affairs in the country, is considered the correspondence with the Spanish dignitary Hagan Hasdai ibn Shaprut.They communicated in writing on the subject of Judaism.The Spaniard was a diplomat, who are interested in Jewish empire existed, according to merchants, near the Caspian Sea.
In three letters contain a legend that went from the ancient Khazars - a summary of the cities, the political, social and economic situation.
Other sources, such as the Russian chronicles, Arabic, Persian and other references generally describe only the causes, course and results of local military conflicts at the borders.
Kagan Joseph in his letter says, where there have been Khazars inhabited by these tribes than doing.Let's examine in detail description.
Thus, the empire extended the period of greatest prosperity of the Southern Bug River to the Aral Sea and the Caucasus Mountains to the Volga in the region of latitude in Murom.
In this area numerous tribes lived.In forest and forest areas spread was settled way of farming in the steppe - nomadic.In addition, near the Caspian Sea was a lot of vineyards.
largest city, which Hagan mentions in his letter, were as follows.Capital - Itil, it was in the lower reaches of the Volga.Sarkel (rusichi Vezhey White called it) was located on the Don, and Samandar and Belenjer - on the coast of the Caspian Sea.
Rise khanate begins after the death of the Turkic Empire, in the middle of the seventh century AD.By that time, the ancestors of the Khazars lived near modern Derbent in Dagestan plains.Hence the expansion to the north, west and south.
After the capture of the Crimea Khazars settled in the area.She was identified with this ethnonym very long.Even in the sixteenth century Genoese mentioned peninsula as "Gazar".
Thus, the Khazars - a union of Turkic tribes, who were able to create the most durable state nomads in history.
in view of the fact that the empire was at the crossroads of trade routes, cultures and religions, it has become like a medieval Babylon.
Since the general population khanate were Turkic peoples, most worshiped Tengri Khan.This belief is still preserved in Central Asia.
Know kaganate converted to Judaism, so is still considered that the Khazars - are Jews.However, this is not entirely true, because the religion professed only a very small layer of the population.
also in the state were represented Christians and Muslims.Due to unsuccessful campaigns against the Arab caliphs in the last decades of the khanate Islam gets more freedom in the empire.
Why stubbornly believe that the Khazars - are Jews?The most likely cause is a legend, described in a letter to Joseph.He tells Hasdai that when choosing a state religion were invited to the Orthodox and Roman Catholic priest and a rabbi.The latter managed to convince all and Kagan argue with his entourage in the right.
wars with neighbors
Trips to the Khazars are more fully described in Russian chronicles and Arab military records.The Caliphate was fighting for influence in the Caucasus, and the Slavs, on the one hand, opposed the southern slave traders, looted the village, on the other - strengthened their eastern frontiers.
first prince, who fought with the Khazar Khanate was Prophetic Oleg.He was able to recapture some of their land and forced to pay tribute to themselves, not the Khazars.
more interesting information about the campaigns of Svyatoslav, the son of Olga and Igor.He, being a skillful warrior and a wise commander, took advantage of the weakness of the empire and dealt a devastating blow to her.
collected his troops down the Volga and took Itil.Next it was captured Sarkel on the Don and Samandar on the Caspian coast.This sudden and powerful expansion destroyed the once mighty empire.
Then Svyatoslav began to consolidate in the area.A fortress was built on the site of White Tower Sarkel levied tribute vyatichi - tribe, bordered on one side with Russia on the other - with the Khazars.
the interesting fact is that for all the apparent strife and wars for a long time in Kiev was a detachment of Khazar mercenaries.In the "Tale of Bygone Years" is mentioned tract Kozar in the capital of Russia.It was located near the confluence of the river Dnepr Pochaina.
Where did all the people
Conquest, of course, affect the population, but it is noteworthy that after the defeat of the Slavs major cities kaganate information about this people disappear.They do not mention a single word in any record.
most plausible solution of this issue researchers consider the following.Being a Turkic ethnic group, the Khazars were able to assimilate with the neighbors on the territory of the Caspian.
Today, scientists believe that the main weight of the solution in the region of the left in the Crimea, and most noble of the Khazars moved to Central Europe.There they were able to unite with the Jewish communities living in the territory of modern Poland, Hungary, Western Ukraine.
Thus, some families with Jewish roots and ancestors in these lands may in some way to call themselves "the descendants of the Khazars."
Traces in Archaeology
Archaeologists say unequivocally that the Khazars - a saltovo-mayaki.Her in 1927 allocated Gauthier.Since that time, the company is actively excavations and research.
name of culture was a result of the similarity of findings on the two monuments.
first - a settlement in Upper Saltov Kharkiv region, and the second - Mayaki settlement in the Voronezh region.
In principle, the findings correlate with the ethnic group of the Alans who lived in this area from the eighth to the tenth century.However, the roots of these people are in the North Caucasus, so it communicates directly with the Khazar Khanate.
researchers share findings on two types of burial.Forest option - Alanian, and steppe - Bulgarian, which include the Khazars.
descendants of the Khazars - this is another white spot in the study of people.The difficulty lies in the fact that it is practically impossible to trace the succession.
saltovo-mayaki as such, accurately reflects the life of the Alans and Bulgars.The Khazars were registered in arbitrary, since it is their monuments of very little.In fact, they are random.Written sources as "silent" after a campaign Svyatoslav.Therefore it is necessary to rely on the joint hypothesis of archaeologists, linguists and anthropologists.
To date, most likely descendants of the Khazars - Kumyks.This is a Turkic-speaking people of the North Caucasus.It also includes part of the Karaites, Krymchaks and Judaize the mountain tribes of the Caucasus.
Thus, in this article we talked about the fate of such interesting people as the Khazars.This is not just another ethnic group, and, in fact, a mysterious white spot in the medieval history of the Caspian lands.
They are mentioned in many sources Rousseau, Armenians, Arabs, Byzantines.Kagan is in correspondence with the Caliphate of Cordoba.Everyone understands the power and strength of the empire ...
And suddenly - a lightning campaign of Prince Svyatoslav and destruction of that state.
turns out, the whole empire could for a brief period of not simply disappear and sink into oblivion, leaving behind the speculation.