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These letters are not sufficient for creating a satisfactory picture of the Khazar state.
We have at our disposal only two letters, which can be defined as authentic Khazar documents: that of the Khazar ruler Joseph and that of a Khazar Jew (the so-called Schechter Letter or the Cambridge Document), addressed to Hasdai ibn Shaprut (the mid-tenth century).
The proposed solutions in sci- ence each have their own grounds and can lead to the impression, that there are several Khazarias, each one different from the rest.
Throughout all three centuries of its existence, the Khazar Khaganate con- solidated many peoples and tribes of different origins and cultures.
Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill nv provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, ma 01923, usa. 5 The “Internal” Ethnic Communities in Khazaria 221 Conclusion 268 Bibliography 285 Index 317 Preface The history of the steppe peoples or, more precisely, that of the state orga- nization in the steppes is often presented as a string of political entities or ethnic communities that replace one another in rapid succession.
The characteristics of the geographical environment determined the economic and cultural development of the various tribal communities, as well as the conditions, under which their relations were formed.This topic is expanded by one of the scientific schools of thought in Russia, which sees the Khazars only as Jews and thus justifies the destruction of the khaganate by the Rus’ as liberation of the peoples oppressed by Khazar rule .4 This is why most of the notions about Khazaria today constitute a layered over time political tradition.The various scientific views therefore need to be handled carefully and subjected to additional analysis. See for instance also the discussion on the pages of Voprosy Literatury from 1988 (Kozhinov 1988; Robinson and Sazonova 1988).The con- tradictions in the scientific views become especially acute regarding the last century of Khazaria’s history. 4 See also Kizlov and Mikhailova 2004; Tortika 2006a, 347-352.