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Al-Khazar and aṣ-Ṣaqâliba: Contacts and Conflicts?

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Chapter Summary

The terms aṣ-Ṣaqâliba and al-Khazar are often encountered in the Arab-Persian medieval sources. In modern scholarship there is a tendency to identify the word aṣ-Ṣaqâliba with Latin sclavus "slave". The term al-Khazar was used in the works of medieval Arab-Persian writers with regard to a people, to an Iqlîm "a clime", and to a state. The combination of those two terms in the medieval Arabic writings is the subject of this chapter. One should note that the Arab-Persian medieval scholars entirely ignored the conflicts between the two peoples, although the Old Rus' and Hebrew sources clearly testify to that. The ethnic name aṣ-Ṣaqâliba is not identified by the Arab writers with the name ar-Rûs. It is just because of this that there is no special information about the conflicts between the Khazars and the Slavs in the Oriental sources.

Keywords: aṣ-Ṣaqâliba; al-Khazar; Arab-Persian medieval sources; Arabic writings; conflicts; Hebrew sources; Kharzars; slave



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