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740 - 1259 KINGDOM OF KHAZAR

The King Bulan converted his people to a vague form of Judaism ("religion of Abraham") after ordering a disputation between the three major monotheistic faiths. Ibn Shaprut, the foreign minister for Abd ar-Rahman of Cordova, corresponded with King Joseph (960). Most of our knowledge of the Khazars is based on these letters. The Khazars were eventually overcome by the Mongols under Genghis Khan. With the spread of Christianity by the Russians, many Khazars were forcibly baptized. The rest fled. Some went into northern Hungary where villages still have names such as Kozar and Kozardie. Tshagataish, the language of the Khazar Jews, is spoken by the few remaining Jewish Krimtchaki of the Crimea. The Khazars' campaign against the Muslims (730-740) succeeded in checking the Muslim advance on the eastern flank of Europe. The Khazars succeeded in defending themselves for 500 years against Muslims, Byzantines and Russians.




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