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Khazars(khä`zärz), ancient Turkic people who appeared in TranscaucasiaTranscaucasia
, transitional region between Europe and Asia, extending from the Greater Caucasus to the Turkish and Iranian borders, between the Black and Caspian seas. It comprises the Republics of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
..... Click the link for more information. in the 2d cent. A.D. and subsequently settled in the lower Volga region. They emerged as a force in the 7th cent. and rose to great power. The Khazar empire extended (8th–10th cent.) from the northern shores of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea to the Urals and as far westward as Kiev. Itil, the Khazar capital in the Volga delta, was a great commercial center. The Khazars conquered the Volga Bulgars and the Crimea, levied tribute from the eastern Slavs, and warred with the Arabs, Persians, and Armenians. Religious tolerance was complete in the Khazar empire, which reached a relatively high degree of civilization. In the 8th cent. the Khazar nobility embraced Judaism, and Cyril and MethodiusCyril and Methodius, Saints
, d. 869 and 884, respectively, Greek missionaries, brothers, called Apostles to the Slavs and fathers of Slavonic literature. Their history and influence are obscured by conflicting legends.
..... Click the link for more information. made some Christian converts among them in the 9th cent. In the 10th cent. the Khazars entered into friendly relations with the Byzantine EmpireByzantine Empire,
successor state to the Roman Empire (see under Rome), also called Eastern Empire and East Roman Empire. It was named after Byzantium, which Emperor Constantine I rebuilt (A.D. 330) as Constantinople and made the capital of the entire Roman Empire.
..... Click the link for more information. , which attempted to use them in the struggle against the Arabs. The Khazar empire fell when SviatoslavSviatoslav
, d. 972, duke of Kiev (945–72), son of Igor and of St. Olga. His mother acted as regent for him until c.962, when he came of age.
..... Click the link for more information. , duke of Kiev, defeated its army in 965. The Khazars (or Chazars) are believed by some to have been the ancestors of many East European Jews.
a nomadic Turkic-speaking people who appeared in Eastern Europe in the fourth century, after the invasion of the Huns. In the 560’s, the Khazars were subjugated by the Turkic Kaganate. The Khazar Kaganate was formed in the mid-seventh century; after it fell, the Khazars intermingled with other nomadic Turkic peoples.