The history and fate of the Khazars have exercised a fascination in the thousand years since the collapse of their mighty steppe empire in 970 C.E. The Khazars, whose ruling classes converted to Judaism, disputed with both the Islamic world and the early Russian state for control of the northern shores of the Black Sea. Their reputation was so great, and the legends surrounding them so powerful, that Jews in far-away Spain made efforts to contact them. This book represents a modern effort to unravel the mysteries which still surround the Khazars. It makes skillful use of the vast literature, in many different languages, related to the Khazars. It will be a very helpful guide for the general reader who wishes to discover the truth about this legendary people. -- John D. Klier, Professor of Modern Jewish History, University College, London
The origins and history of the Khazars, a Turkic people who converted to Judaism sometime in the eighth-ninth century C.E., remains one of the most complex questions in the history of Medieval Eurasia.... The sources for Khazar history are extremely varied, representing all of the major cultural groups and languages of Eurasia (Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, Persian, Turkic, Greek, Latin, Slavic, Georgian, Armenian, and Chinese). Kevin Alan Brook has put together an absorbing account of their history based on this wide array of sources, supplemented by archaeological, ethnographic and linguistic data dealing with Khazar Jewry and their legacy. This is a most useful introduction to this at times enigmatic, but always fascinating people. -- Peter B. Golden, Professor of History, Rutgers University
About the Author
Kevin Alan Brook is an historian who has researched the Khazars since 1993. He has contributed articles about the Khazars to The Encyclopaedia of Judaism Second Edition (Brill, 2005) and The Turks Vol. 1 (Yeni Turkiye, 2002). Since 1995, Brook has maintained the website of the American Center of Khazar Studies (Khazaria.com).
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