Turks and Khazars: Origins, Institutions, and Interactions in Pre-Mongol Eurasia
This second collection of studies by Peter Golden continues his explorations of the Türk Empire (mid-sixth to mid-eighth centuries), the stateless polities that appeared after its collapse, and of the Khazar Qaghanate (mid-seventh century to ca. 965-969), its imperial successor state in the western Eurasian steppes. Building on earlier traditions, the Türks created a paradigm for state building in the Eurasian steppes that persisted, with variations, into the early modern era. Examined here are issues relating to the origins of and myths associated with the rise of the Türks and the systems of governance in the Türk and subsequent Turkic polities of Eurasia. The institution of slavery and its role in Turkic nomadic societies receives significant attention. In addition, these essays document the cultural interactions between the Turkic nomads of pre-Chinggisid Eurasia and neighbouring settled societies such as the Kievan Rus', Georgia and the Islamic world. Included here are studies dealing with the hitherto neglected role of Khazars in the Islamic ghulâm (slave soldier) system. Special attention is paid to the unique traditions of sacral rulership among the Khazars and an examination of their conversion to Judaism set within a larger Eurasian context.
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