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    The Khazars

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    The Khazars

    Post by Lucid Memes on Sun May 03, 2009 5:12 pm

    I want to use this thread to discuss the various theories surrounding this group

    Before the Khazar Kaganate (350 - 627 CE)
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    The Rise of the Khazars (600 - 850 CE)
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    The Khazar Kaganate at its Height (850 CE)
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    The Decline and Fall of the Khazars (850 - 965 CE)
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    The Khazars were a semi-nomadic Turkic people who dominated the Pontic steppe and the North Caucasus from the 7th to the 10th century CE. The name 'Khazar'[1] seems to be tied to a Turkic verb form meaning "wandering".[2]

    In the 7th century CE, the Khazars founded an independent Khaganate in the Northern Caucasus along the Caspian Sea. Although the Khazars were initially Tengri shamanists, many of them converted to Christianity, Islam, and other religions. During the eighth or ninth century the state religion became Judaism. At their height, the Khazar khaganate and its tributaries controlled much of what is today southern Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, large portions of the Northern Caucasus ( Circassia, Dagestan, Chechnya), parts of Georgia and the Crimea.

    Between 965 and 969, their sovereignty was broken by Sviatoslav I of Kiev, and they became a subject people of Kievan Rus'. Gradually displaced by the Rus, the Kipchaks, and later the conquering Mongol Golden Horde, the Khazars largely disappeared as a culturally distinct people.

    I underlined the and bolded the last sentence, cause I know a lot of people think otherwise

    Discuss


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    Re: The Khazars

    Post by Extant on Sun May 03, 2009 6:49 pm

    The subject of the Khazars is an enigma really isn't it? Especially as it regards their last days. Where did they go?
    Anyone here read the Koestler book? Some fascinating material on their way of life and some of the other related hordes like the Bolgar. They were described as incredibly vulgar (from travelling Arab writers especially) and of vicious temperament. But it seems a large degree of bias may have come into many such reports. The story of one such visit by foreign dignitaries to the Khazar Kagan's royal tent relates how they were extremely offput by the Queen's open & unashamed revealing of her genitalia in order to scratch an itch. LOL. The visitors were quiet taken aback but the Kagan just laughed at them.

    There is some interesting stuff in this outlaw thread:

    The Khazars

    A lot of the material and information that Koestler presented in the book, from the ancient histories (from those such as Ahmad ibn fadlan), appeared in the film 'The 13th Warrior' that starred Antonio Banderas. The Vikings, or Rhos men in particular. Interesting we have 'The Thirteenth Tribe' and 'The 13th Warrior'. Were the exceedingly vicious, demonic, base, violent primitives in that film some sort of representation of the Khazars in some way? Even if they just were an inspiration for the Chrichton novel, a composite creation part of an amalgam of other historical hordes?

    I found it interesting that Koestler explored the possibility that the Khazars weren't practising Talmudists, but practising Karaites, a heresy as regarded by the Talmudists.
    Crimean Karaites: Wikipedia - Crimean Karaites

    Extract from "The Thirteenth Tribe" (p. 24 in the PDF version, pp. 73 - 74 in the hard copy):

    After the genealogy, Joseph mentions briefly some military conquests by his ancestors which carried them as far as the Danube; then follows at great length the story of Bulan’s conversion. “From this day onwards,” Joseph continues, “the Lord gave him strength and aided him; he had himself and his followers circumcized and sent for Jewish sages who taught him the Law and explained the Commandments.” There follow more boasts about military victories, conquered nations, etc., and then a significant passage:

    After these events, one of his [Bulan’s] grandsons became King; his name was Obadiab, he was a brave and venerated man who reformed the Rule, fortified the Law according to tradition and usage, built synagogues and schools, assembled a multitude of Israel’s sages, gave them lavish gifts of gold and silver, and made them interpret the twenty-four [sacred] books, the Mishna [Precepts] and the Talmud, and the order in which the liturgies are to be said.

    This indicates that, about a couple of generations after Bulan, a religious revival or reformation took place (possibly accompanied by a coup d’état on the lines envisaged by Artamonov). It seems indeed that the Judaization of the Khazars proceeded in several steps. We remember that King Bulan drove out “the sorcerers and idolators” before the angel appeared to him; and that he made his Covenant with the “true God” before deciding whether He was the Jewish, Christian or Muslim God. It seems highly probable that the conversion of King Bulan and his followers was another intermediary step, that they embraced a primitive or rudimentary form of Judaism, based on the Bible alone, excluding the Talmud, all rabbinical literature, and the observances derived from it. In this respect they resembled the Karaites, a fundamentalist sect which originated in the eighth century in Persia and spread among Jews all over the world particularly in “Little Khazaria”, i.e., the Crimea. Dunlop and some other authorities surmised that between Bulan and Obadiah (i.e., roughly between 740 and 800) some form of Karaism prevailed in the country, and that orthodox “Rabbinic” Judaism was only introduced in the course of Obadiah’s religious reform. The point is of some importance because Karaism apparently survived in Khazaria to the end, and villages of Turkish-speaking Karaite Jews, obviously of Khazar origin, still existed in modern times (see below, Chapter V, 4).


    @interepidpixie: The similarities between the words Khazar and Cathar is intriguing on a surface level. You say that the Cathars appeared not long after the Khazars fell off the map as a nomadic empire?
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    Re: The Khazars

    Post by Lucid Memes on Sun May 03, 2009 7:07 pm

    Winston_Smith wrote:A lot of the material and information that Koestler presented in the book, from the ancient histories (from those such as Ahmad ibn fadlan), appeared in the film 'The 13th Warrior' that starred Antonio Banderas. The Vikings, or Rhos men in particular. Interesting we have 'The Thirteenth Tribe' and 'The 13th Warrior'. Were the exceedingly vicious, demonic, base, violent primitives in that film some sort of representation of the Khazars in some way? Even if they just were an inspiration for the Chrichton novel, a composite creation part of an amalgam of other historical hordes?

    Oh wow. That's funny you mention that. I haven't read the book, but I recently saw the movie. The tribe in that story (The Wendol) were supposed to be that last remanents of the Neanderthals

    I remember this talk by Watt (i put in spoiler tags to save space)
    Spoiler:
    Ryan: I guess they have the troglodyte connection to tunnel vision.

    Alan: Yes, in a sense it is. There's great old legends about the troglodytes and troglodytes just means "cave dweller" or "tunnel dweller" and you'll find them in some of the Grecian and Roman writings. They hired these people. They were a tribe and they were scattered too across the ancient Middle East and they would hire them as scouts when they wanted to bring armies to go off an invade someone else. They had odd customs. They would bury every member, any member who reached the age of 40 up to their neck in sand and then stone them to death, so there was no one over 40 years of age in their particular tribe. Even in the ancient legends including the Hebrew legends, the supposed Tribe of Manasseh, if they ever existed, were given the land to the north and it was mountainous and they interbred with (they called them there by a different name) the Horites; they were the cave dwellers or troglodytes of the north there. They interbred with them and after a period of time this Manasseh tribe became red-haired and blue-eyed because the troglodytes were supposedly almost albino. There's lots of old scattered bits of information on these particular peoples and you find them again in Sumer, because the gods never came down in spacecraft and stuff at all. They simply dwelt in caves up in mountains and the people used to eventually go up and put offerings in the caves for these particular people who became a priesthood because they looked down and observed the people. There's even older legends to say where that started from, that they were people who were outcasts. They used to kill them at one time if they were pedophiles and so on. Eventually they stopped killing them and let them live inside caves and fed them; and over time, as they added to their numbers and generations, they had time to study the people down below, watched their habits, watched the seasons, studied the stars and so on, and they came down as the priests eventually and then dominated the normal people below them. That comes even from Armenia, those particular legends. There's a lot legends on them as to the origins of ancient priesthoods that had knowledge; and who knows how far back that really does go?

    Ryan: Would that be the "Wild Thing" that the Trogs were singing about, as opposed to gentle man?

    Alan: That's right, the Trogs sang "Wild Thing."

    Ryan: The wild man as opposed to the gentle man?

    Alan: Yes and again even in some of the older freemasonic books talked about possible beginnings. Remember everything is a possible beginning, meaning no one knows, but they talked about tree dwellers and the tree dwellers were hunters. They'd come down the trees, kill mammoths or elephants and when they were coming down the trees afterwards to get their kill, these mountain or troglodytes ones would come in. They were very vicious and they'd drive off the tree people and they could actually drink the blood even of their kill and live on that, and that gave the legend to the old vampire story. Even China has them, these old stories. It's a fascinating thing but it's the stuff for novelists and for the New Ager or those who lead the New Age movement to grab a hold of and spin it off into all kinds of things, because when imagination comes into it, then imagination is the limit. There's no limit at all.

    Giving offerings to the bloodthirsty cave people is similar to the story of Beowulf IMO

    And Beowulf is a source of inspiration for Chrichton's "Eaters of the Dead" aka "The 13th Warrior"

    I hope this post doesn't distract too much from the topic at a hand


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    Re: The Khazars

    Post by Lucid Memes on Sun May 03, 2009 9:07 pm

    And here's another thing to add

    Watt believes the Khazars became the Normans

    Spoiler:
    Jackie: All right. Let's go back to the Khazars. We were talking one time. This was quite some time ago and you said I think they were there all the time. Those today that evidentially from the land of the Khazars, Khazaria, and they were a Turkic-Mongolian mix?

    Alan: That's a bit wrong there.

    Jackie: Okay. What is it?

    Alan: It was an empire. It was an empire like the British Empire and just like the British Empire you would have English in the middle and then you'd have other tribes that were taken over from other cultures and colors even around them, all part of that empire and then all eventually called Khazarian. In fact in the Khazarian outer tribes, they were all used for different functions, but some of the outer tribes were even Moslem. The inner group were called the Royal Khazars and they were a nobility just like the nobility of Europe who only intermarried amongst themselves and the Royal Khazars were red-headed or blonde, blue-eyed or green-eyed and as I say they only intermarried amongst themselves, although they ran an empire of many different types of people who all eventually were called Jews when they adopted Judaism. They converted the whole country. A country about the size of Spain converted overnight to Judaism. Now when they disappeared--

    Jackie: Oh, excuse me. One of the things that you had said, these people that converted to Judaism, the tribe in Khazaria. You said I think they were there all the time and you said something about that they had migrated, that you believed or had read or whatever that they had migrated into that area.

    Alan: I have no doubt they did because they had symbols very similar to Egypt. The only religious symbols that they had were the obelisks. That was the only ones – by people, in fact by rabbis that went into Khazaria during that conversion period. The only symbol of religion that you noticed was the phallic symbol everywhere.

    Jackie: The obelisk?

    Alan: Yes, the obelisk. One of them said that they were basically a pantheistic people, meaning they worshiped nature, the earth, the "sciences" you might say and they didn't have really a very mystical view of anything.

    Jackie: Do you think that these people if they did migrate into that area, do you think they were led there by leaders that knew that this was going to happen eventually in the future. In other words, they're there waiting?

    Alan: Yes, I'd say so because the Khazars themselves, it's an interesting lifestyle that they had. It resembled so closely the nobility of the Normans and all of the European aristocracy descended from the Normans who appeared in Europe at the same time as the nobility of the Khazars disappeared from Khazaria. The same traditions were held by the Normans where they would migrate throughout the year to different palaces of different cities, just like the Queen goes from Buckingham Palace up to this one or that one or whatever throughout the year. That was their tradition. However, they also controlled the trade routes, in fact, to get to China and so on, you'd have to go straight through their land and they lived on taxation. They taxed everyone who moved throughout their land, so that was one of the main incomes.

    Jackie: Weren't they even taxing people who had to use the rivers?

    Alan: Yes and so they were heavily into taxation and the taxation system. They had a mounted nobility cavalry, advanced in its day, that had their own coats of arms and went into battle in certain formations so they were pretty well invincible in their day. Interestingly enough, as they disappeared from the land of Khazaria, a group of people appear in Normandy in France and call themselves Normans (or at least the historians called them Normans) and they had the same techniques with calvary, coats of arms and everything else and it's thought that this was the nobility of the Khazars who came into Europe and took over the whole of Europe through force of arms. They had unlimited financing to hire mercenary groups and the wars of the Normans on even Britain took many, many years of full scale war, which tells you there was tremendous funding to keep armies in the fields for such a long time. Plus, they built wooden forts on the coastline of France, some of them a few acres in size, and they were prefabricated and they towed them up by parts over the channel to England and re-erected them. You were talking about something on the scale of the Second World War here. Unlimited financing to take over the whole of Europe and definitely with a strategy and a plan and I have no doubt at all that the Catholic Church was part of it, because along with the Normans came the Catholic Church and one basically stood up for the other.

    Jackie: Then once they installed the kings and the queens they just continued to interbreed with one another?

    Alan: Yes, right up to the present day.

    Jackie: Some of our listeners who may be newer that did not hear you say this, but it's something that we have to keep in mind, is that these kings and queens were not even of the same nationality if you would of the people that they were ruling over.

    Alan: Exactly.


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    Re: The Khazars

    Post by intrepidpixie on Fri May 08, 2009 2:09 am

    Winston_Smith wrote:

    @interepidpixie: The similarities between the words Khazar and Cathar is intriguing on a surface level. You say that the Cathars appeared not long after the Khazars fell off the map as a nomadic empire?

    It`s not only the similarities in the words. There is a group of people who suddenly appeared into Northern Italy, Switzerland and Venice around the 9th or 10th century called the Gazari. I believe it meant heretic in Italian. The jewish huns who we know to be the Khazars were also called Gazari. I`ve heard someone ( I believe it was Kealey, but not certain) say that the Khazars went on to become the Black Nobility of Venice.
    Now look at the Cathars. Also called Cazari/Gazari. I wasnt aware of this until recently, but the Cathars were not confined to the region of Southern France. There were many Cathars in Northern Italy as well. They did not emerge in France until 1143. Perhaps both of these groups were gnostic chameleons and were one and the same.

    Yes Preston, I too recall that Watt said that the Khazars mysteriously showed up in France and morphed into the Normans.
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    Re: The Khazars

    Post by Lucid Memes on Fri May 08, 2009 3:02 am

    Do you know anything about a possible Khazar connection to the Japanese Yakuza, Pixie?


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    Re: The Khazars

    Post by Extant on Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:16 am

    Good resource for Khazars:

    Khazaria.com

    The guy who runs the site has released this book, looks very interesting:

    The Jews of Khazaria - Alan Brook

    Brooks' work continues ploughing the same furrow as Koestler but it may seem with more certainty and provides evidences. I'll have to wait and see when I get the book.

    The following book I've laboured to get hold due its scarcity:

    The History of the Jewish Khazars - D.M. Dunlop

    Koestler culled a huge portion of the info for his book "The Thirteenth Tribe" from that text, which many say is vastly superior and follows the same lines.
    Google cached page with small excerpts from the text:

    Khazar excerpts - Dunlop.


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    Re: The Khazars

    Post by Extant on Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:26 pm

    The DNA of Abraham’s Children - Analysis of Jewish genomes refutes the Khazar claim

    Spoiler:
    Jews have historically considered themselves “people of the book” (am hasefer in Hebrew), referring to sacred tomes, but the phrase is turning out to have an equally powerful, if unintended, meaning: scientists are able to read Jewish genomes like a history book. The latest DNA volume weighs in on the controversial, centuries-old (and now revived in a 2008 book) claim that European Jews are all the descendants of Khazars, a Turkic group of the north Caucasus who converted to Judaism in the late eighth and early ninth century. The DNA has spoken: no.

    In the wake of studies in the 1990s that supported biblically based notions of a priestly caste descended from Aaron, brother of Moses, an ambitious new project to analyze genomes collected from Jewish volunteers has yielded its first discoveries. In a paper with the kind of catchy title you rarely see in science journals—“Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era”—scientists report that the Jews of the Diaspora share a set of telltale genetic markers, supporting the traditional belief that Jews scattered around the world have a common ancestry. But various Diaspora populations have their own distinct genetic signatures, shedding light on their origins and history. In addition to the age-old question of whether Jews are simply people who share a religion or are a distinct population, the scientific verdict is settling on the latter.

    Although the origin of the Jews has been traced, archeologically, to the Middle East in the second millennium B.C.E., what happened next has been more opaque. To sort it out, researchers collected DNA from Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, and Ashkenazi Jews around New York City; Turkish Sephardic Jews in Seattle; Greek Sephardic Jews in Thessaloniki and Athens; and Italian Jews in Rome as part of the Jewish HapMap Project. (All four grandparents of each participant had to have come from the same community.) As the scientists will report in the next issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, the analysis shows that “each of the Jewish populations formed its own distinctive cluster, indicating the shared ancestry and relative genetic isolation of the members of each of those groups.”

    Jewish populations, that is, have retained their genetic coherence just as they have retained their cultural and religious traditions, despite migrations from the Middle East into Europe, North Africa, and beyond over the centuries, says geneticist Harry Ostrer of NYU Langone Medical Center, who led the study. Each Diaspora group has distinctive genetic features “representative of each group’s genetic history,” he says, but each also “shares a set of common genetic threads” dating back to their common origin in the Middle East. “Each of the Jewish populations formed its own distinctive cluster, indicating the shared ancestry and relative genetic isolation of the members of each of those groups.”

    The various Jewish groups were more related to each other than to non-Jews, as well. Within every Jewish group, individuals shared as much of their genome as two fourth or fifth cousins, with Italian, Syrian, Iranian, and Iraqi Jews the most inbred, in the sense that they married within the small, close-knit community. In general, the genetic similarity of any two groups was larger the closer they lived to one another, but there was an exception: Turkish and Italian Jews were most closely related genetically, but are quite separated geographically.

    Historical records suggest that Iranian and Iraqi Jews date from communities that formed in Persia and Babylon, respectively, in the fourth to sixth centuries B.C.E., and the DNA confirms that. The genetic signatures of these groups show that they remained relatively isolated—inbred—for some 3,000 years. The DNA also reveals that these Middle Eastern Jews diverged from the ancestors of today’s European Jews about 100 to 150 generations ago, or sometime during the first millennium B.C.E.

    That’s when the Jewish communities in Italy, the Balkans, and North Africa originated, from Jews who migrated or were expelled from Palestine and from people who converted to Judaism during Hellenic times. During that period Jews proselytized with an effectiveness that would put today’s Mormons to shame: at the height of the Roman Empire, as the Roman historian Josephus chronicled, mass conversions produced 6 million practicing Jews, or 10 percent of the population of the Roman Empire. The conversions brought in DNA that had not been part of the original gene pool in the land of Abraham.

    The DNA analysis undermines the claim that most of today’s Jews, particularly the Ashkenazi, are the direct lineal descendants of converted Khazars—which has angered many in the Jewish community as an implicit attack on the Jews’ claim to the land of Israel, since it implies that today’s Jews have no blood ties to the original Jews of the Middle East. Instead, find the scientists, at most there was “limited admixture with local populations, including Khazars and Slavs ... during the 1,000-year (second millennium) history of the European Jews.”

    Of the non-Jewish Europeans, northern Italians were most genetically similar to the Jews, followed by the Sardinians and French. The Druze, Bedouins, and Palestinians were closest to the Iranian, Iraqi, and Syrian Jews. That is evidence of “a shared genetic history of related Middle Eastern and non-Semitic Mediterranean ancestors who chose different religious and tribal affiliations.” Adds Ostrer, “the study supports the idea of a Jewish people linked by a shared genetic history. Yet the admixture with European people explains why so many European and Syrian Jews have blue eyes and blond hair.”

    Southern Europeans were the closest genetic cousins of Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Italian Jews, reflecting the large-scale conversion of these Southern European populations to Judaism some 2,000 years ago, when European Jewry was forming. The Sephardic groups share genetic makers with North Africans, probably a result of marriages between Moors and Jews in Spain from 711 to 1492.

    Several details of the Ashkenazi genome imply that centuries ago, the population experienced a severe bottleneck, in which the size of a group plummets, followed by a rapid expansion. That jibes with the historical record showing that the Jewish population in Western and Eastern Europe bottomed out at about 50,000 in the Middle Ages and then soared to 500,000 by the 19th century, growing at twice the rate of non-Jews—something called “the demographic miracle.”

    Analysis of Jewish genomes has been yielding fascinating findings for more than a decade. A pioneer in this field, Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona, made the first big splash when he discovered that genetics supports the biblical account of a priestly family, the Cohanim, descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses: one specific genetic marker on the Y chromosome (which is passed on from father to son, as membership in the priestly family would be) is found in 98.5 percent of people who self-identify as Cohanim, he and colleagues reported in a 1997 paper in Nature (the PBS science series Nova did a nice segment on that work, summarized here). The Cohanim DNA has been found in both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, evidence that it predates the time when the two groups diverged, about 1,000 years ago. DNA can also be used to infer when particular genetic markers appeared, and suggests that the Cohanim emerged about 106 generations ago, making it fall during what is thought to be the period of the exodus from Egypt, and thus Aaron’s lifetime.
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    Re: The Khazars

    Post by Agogwe on Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:32 am

    Okay, it's late here and I've been reading this stuff for awhile and it's all starting to blend. What are some of the theories of why the Khazars didn't decline and disappear as a culture? Is there something greater than they became Jewish converts? Thanks for all the information guys, I appreciate your work.
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    Re: The Khazars

    Post by Extant on Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:47 am

    Only thing I've read is circumstantial and insubstantial. The similarities between the name of Khazar and Cazari, supposedly pointing to the Cathars as their descendents. Just input "khazars and cathars" into a search engine and a multitude of results will flood in. study

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