The Jews of Khazaria (英語) ハードカバー – 2006/9/30
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The Jews of Khazaria chronicles the history of the Khazars, a people who, in the early Middle Ages, founded a large empire in eastern Europe (located in present-day Ukraine and Russia). The Khazars played a pivotal role in world history. Khazaria was one of the largest-sized political formations of its time, an economic and cultural superpower connected to several important trade routes. It was especially notable for its religious tolerance, and in the 9th century, a large portion of the royal family converted to Judaism. Many of the nobles and commoners did likewise shortly thereafter. After their conversion, the Khazars were ruled by a succession of Jewish kings that began to adopt the hallmarks of Jewish civilization, including the Torah and Talmud, the Hebrew script, and the observance of Jewish holidays. In this thoroughly revised edition of a modern classic, The Jews of Khazaria explores many exciting new discoveries about the Khazars' religious life, economy, military, government, and culture. It builds upon new studies of the Khazars, evaluating and incorporating recent theories, along with new documentary and archaeological findings. The book gives a comprehensive accounting of the cities, towns, and fortresses of Khazaria, and features a timeline summarizing key events in Khazar history.
This second, revised edition of Kevin Brook's well-received publication in 1999 of The Jews of Khazaria, integrates important new data culled from ongoing archaeological digs in southern Russia and the Crimea, genetic results of DNA processing, examination of formerly unknown or ignored coin hordes, and the continuing research of scholars around the world. It succeeds in elucidating controversial issues, while contextualizing the Khazar polity within the competitive 9th-11th-century world of Byzantium, the Arab Caliphate, and two regional upstarts: the Dnepr-based aggregate of Nordic, Slavic, and Turkic peoples known as Rus', and the Turkic-Islamic kaganate of Bulgar flourishing in the middle and upper Volga territory. As a full exploration in English of the history and culture of the Khazars, this volume is without equal, and would be quite useful reading in courses focused on the Kievan period of Russian history, as well as broader ones treating the dynamics of Central Eurasian history during these lively and formative centuries.--Edward J. Lazzerini, Indiana University商品の説明をすべて表示する
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Brook, a layman himself (albeit a lay expert), has meticulously collected thousands of tidbits of historical knowledge and lore from a myriad of primary and secondary sources
Brook's first edition (published by Jason Aaronson in 1999) was a masterpiece in and of itself, but it was flawed by the certainty of certain controversial assertions (such as that the conversion of the Khazars took place in 861) which have, over the course of only a few years, become outdated by dramatic new discoveries in numismatics and archaeology. This second edition of Brook's magnum opus corrects many errors and also includes information on new discoveries, organized into convenient, intuitive and well-cited sections (including "The Origins of the Khazars", "The Khazars' Conversion to Judaism", and "Relations between the Khazars and other People".)
Khazar history is brought to life through discussions of trade, religion, daily life, language, and many other issues. Anyone interested in Jewish, Eastern European or Eurasian history, or anyone who fancies themselves a polymath, would be remiss if they failed to purchase and read this book.
I wanted to learn more about the remarkable empire that was Khazaria, and this book did an excellent job. As a bonus, I enjoyed the detailed history of the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. I had no idea there were so many enclaves!
My only complaint is that the book starts off a little slow. You have to get thru the first chapter or two, but then it seems to take off like a rocket. I couldn't put it down after that.
Anyway, the book gives a thorough description of the Khazars from their pre-Jewish origins as a Turkic people, through the conversion, and the building of, and subsequent decline of the Khazarian empire, which included a diaspora of Khazarian Jews into Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Brook finishes with a discussion of whether or not the Khazars are the ancestors of the modern day Ashkenazi Jews. So, this might not be the most compelling read, but if you're looking to learn about the Khazars, you don't have much choice! Four stars.