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Iranian sources on the khazars

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Chapter Summary

This chapter surveys three groups of sources dealing with Khazar history. What is common to these sources is their Iranian provenance. The sources can be divided into three groups according to the three languages in which they are recorded: Middle Persian (or Pahlavi); Arabic; New Persian. This division reflects not only the language of the texts, but also, to some extent, their historical value as sources belonging to a certain cultural and temporal milieu. Some of the sources in Arabic are supposed to reflect Pahlavi originals now lost, while those in New Persian, in almost all cases, go back to Arabic originals. Iranian sources, and sources derived from Iranian traditions, provide us with rich information about the cultural milieu of their authors. Some of these sources are indispensable for reconstruction of some lost literary works, which have nothing to do with the real Khazars.

Keywords: Arabic; Iranian sources; Khazar history; Middle Persian; New Persian; Pahlavi



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