From the ashes of the Western Göktürk Empire, a new state emerged between the Don basin, Volga river and the Caucasus. Calling themselves “Khazars”, these Turkic people established a political entity that very quickly rose to the rank of an empire. Strategically located along the ancient Silk Road(s), the Khazars controlled much of the trade in the region and, making use of their military prowess, managed to defeat all neighboring nomadic peoples. But this state was led by both a Khagan and Bek, and this dual kingship enabled a flexible reign over their subjects. The fate of the Khazars was ultimately sealed by their foreign policy, as they served both the Byzantine interest of keep the advancing Muslim Arab Empires out of the Caucasus and the nomadic Turkic peoples who could roam away freely along the Eurasian Steppe Belt.
The most remarkable trait of the Khazars, however, was their conversion to Judaism. Whether a majority of the Turkic population or only the ruling dynasty converted away from Tengrism is subject to speculation. Nonetheless, this speculation is purposefully linked with the “Khazar Hypothesis” which, ever since the 19th century, proposes a Turkic Khazar origin of the Jewish people who later appeared in Central and Eastern Europe.
How correct are such assumptions? Is there any evidence for this theory? How did the Khazars establish their state in the first place, and what impact did it have on the political and cultural affairs in the region? Let us find out in this new documentary from Khan’s Den.
Credit to : Khan’s Den