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The khazars’ appearance north-west of the Caspian: Whence?

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Chapter Summary

The Khazar conquest of the wide steppe region between the Lower Volga in the East and some point between the Dniepr and Danube in the West started in the 660s, prompting, no doubt ca. 670, the creation of the Khazar Kaghanate. This process can be closely followed in several contemporary or nearly contemporary sources: the Armenian Geography, the Eulogy of Prince Juanšer and the Story of Bishop Israyel in the History of Albania, and common source of Nicephorus and Theophanes on the Bulgarian migration. This chapter interprets these Armenian and Greek sources with help of others of the same origin, and some recent archaeological data. The first source to put us in touch with real Khazars is the Description of the Earth, known as the Armenian Geography. It is preserved in two versions, one long and one short. The long version of the Geography features the Khazars twice.

Keywords: archaeological data; Armenian Geography; Armenian sources; Eulogy of Prince Juanšer; Greek sources; History of Albania; Khazar Kaghanate; Khazars



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