Viper - Part 19
Before we go on, let us present here a custom of the Jews that few Christians
know anything about. That custom being the invoking of the "Kol Nidre."
It is referred to in the Talmud as "the law of revocation in advance,"
and is obtained for all who recite it each year on the eve of the Day of
Atonement, and is considered by the Jews to be Divine Dispensation from
all obligations acquired under "Oaths, Vows and Pledges" to be made or
taken in the coming year. The implications, inferences and innuendoes of
the "Kol Nidre." (All Vows) prayer are referred to in the Talmud in the
book of Nedarin 23a-23b -- as follows: "And he who desires that none of
his vows made during the year shall be valid, let him stand at the beginning
of the year and declare, 'every vow which I make in the future will be
null' (1) His vows are then invalid, providing that he remembers this at
the time of the vow. (1) Footnote: This may have provided a support for
the custom of reciting Kol Nidre (a formula for dispensation of vows) prior
to the Evening Service of the Day of Atonement was probably chosen on account
of its great solemnity."
But Kol Nidre as part of the ritual is later than The Talmud, and, as
seen from the following statement of R. Huna S. Hinene; "the law of revocation
in advance was not made public."
In Russia, about 1000 A.D. it was the custom, as in other Christian
countries in Europe at that time to take an oath, vow or pledge of loyalty
to the rulers, the nobles, the feudal landholders and others in the name
of Jesus Christ. It was after the conquest of the Khazars by the Russians
that the wording of the "Kol Nidre" (all vows) prayer was altered.
The effect of the "Law of Revocation in Advance" obtained for all who
recited it each year, on the eve of the Day of Atonement was, as stated
before believed by the Jews to be divine dispensation a release from all
obligations acquired under "Oaths, vows and pledges" to be made or taken
in the Coming Year. The recital of the "Kol Nidre" (All vows) prayer Released
"Jews" from any obligation taken under "Oaths, Vows or Pledges" entered
into during the next twelve months. Therefore, any and all "Oaths, Vows,
and/or Pledges" made or taken by "Jews," were made or taken "with tongue
in check," for the next twelve months. Of course this altered version of
the "Kol Nidre" (All vows) prayer creates serious difficulties for the
"Jews" whenever its wording becomes public knowledge. It apparently did
not remain a secret very long, although the Talmud states "the law of the
revocations in advance was not made public."
Thus the "Kol Nidre" (All vows) prayer soon became known as the "Jews
Vow" and cast, and not without reason, serious doubt upon Any and All "oaths,
vows or pledges" given by "Jews." This was/is the basis for the Jews cry
of "discrimination" by governments, nobles, feudal landholders, and those
who entered their service were required to take an oath, vow or pledge
of loyalty. What's wrong with that: Do we not cite the Pledge of Allegiance
to the Flag of the United States of America? Well you can be certain that
no "Jew" means it when he takes it!
Really could we expect anything else from a people who have never been
loyal to any government or people they have lived under or with; the Jews
are a people who are, without a doubt, the most traitorous People that
has ever existed upon the Earth for their loyalty is always for sale! If
this is true, and it is, then there should be more evidence to support
this position, and there is.
The American People's Encyclopedia for 1954 at 15-292 records the following
in reference to the Khazars: "In the year 740 A.D. The Khazars were officially
Converted to Judaism. A century later they were crushed by the incoming
Slavic-speaking people and were scattered over central Europe where they
were known as Jews."
It is from this grouping that most German, Polish and Hungarian Jews
are descended, and they likewise make up a considerable part of that population
now found in America. The term Aschenazim is applied to this "round-headed,
"Nathan M. Pollock has a beef with the Israeli
government. His elaborate plans to celebrate this September the 1000th
anniversary of the Jewish-Khazar alliance were summarily rejected. An elderly,
meek-looking man who migrated to Israel from Russia 43 years ago. Pollock
ekes out a living as a translator of scientific texts and proofreader in
a publishing firm. But his great passion, hobby and avocation is historic
He has devoted 40 of his 64 years to trying
to prove that six out of ten Israelis and none out of ten Jews in the Western
Hemisphere are not real Jews' Jews, but descendants of fierce Khazar tribes
which roamed the steppes of Southern Russia many centuries ago. For obvious
reasons the Israeli authorities are not at all eager to give the official
stamp of approval to Pollock's theories. 'For all we know, he may be 100
percent right,' said a senior government official. 'In fact, he is not
the first one to discover the connection between Jews and Khazars.
Many famous scholars Jews and non-Jews, stressed
these links in their historical research works. But who can tell today
what percentage of Khazar blood flows in our veins, if at all? And who
can declare with any degree of scientific accuracy which Jews are Jews
and which are descendants of this Tartar-Mongol race? As a matter of fact,
our alleged descent from the Khazars is the central theme of Arab propaganda,'
he added. 'The Arabs claim most European Jews have no right to be in Israel
in the first place because they are not descended from Biblical Hebrews,
but from Tartar-Mongol nomad tribes, including the Khazars who were converted
to Judaism en masse 1000 years ago.'
Scientific opinion in Israel is divided on
the subject. No one argues the basic premise: that a group of 12,000 Jews
fleeing from persecution and wars in the Holy Land, in the wake of Byzantine
and Moslem conquests, made the long overland trek to Persia, crossed the
territory of today's Turkestan in Central Asia and found asylum in the
Khazar Kingdom, which occupied a vast area between the Caspian Sea, Volga
River, Ural Mountains, Black Sea and the Pollack borderlands.
In the year 965 the Khazars were defeated for
the first time in 500 years, by Prince Sviatoslav of Kiev. King Bulan III
of Khazaria concluded that Prince Sviatoslav emerged victorious from the
war because his troops and mercenaries were Christians, while his nomads
were pagan worshipers. The king and his nobles embraced Judaism in 965,
and in 966 a royal edict was passed enforcing Judaism as the only legal
religion in the Khazar Kingdom.
Tribesmen had to undergo circumcision, learn
Hebrew prayers and recognize Jewish rabbis as their spiritual leaders,
on paid of death. As other Jews who were persecuted in the Middle East,
medieval Europe and Spain at that time, heard of the new Jewish-Khazar
Kingdom, rumors spread that the Messiah had arrived at long last. There
were several consecutive migration waves to Khazaria, via Persia, Greece
Pollock believes the traditional Russian anti-Semitism
probably stems from that epoch when Hebrew-speaking Khazar raiders attacked
Russian villages, killed the men folk, abducted women, forcibly converted
them to Judaism and married them in fulfledged religious ceremonies. This
also would explain why so many European Jews are Blond and Blue-eyed, with
a Slight Mongol Slant to Their Eyes, as well as the total absence of Semitic
features among many Israelis of European descent.
The flourishing Jewish-Khazar Kingdom was destroyed
in 1239 by the Mongol invasion of Batu Khan. Following the Mongol invasion
and conquest, surviving members of Jewish-Khazar tribes trekked west and
settled in Poland, Hungary, Bohemia, Austria, Romania and the Ukraine.
How can one find out if he is a 'Khazar Jew'
or a 'Hebrew Jew?' According to Pollock, whose parents came from Poland,
if your name is Halperin, Alpert, Halpern, Galpern, etc., you are 100 percent
Khazar. 'Alper' means 'brave knight' ihn the Khazar tongue, and the name
was granted by the king to the most distinguished warriors.
Names like Kaplan, Caplon, Koppel, and the
like are positive proof of Khazar descent, according to the scholar. 'Kaplan'
means 'fierce hawk' in the Khazar language. Kogan, Kagan, Keganovich show
aristocratic descent from Kagan-Hagan, King Bulan's chief minister..."
(San Diego Union, August 28, 1966)
From the above, we can clearly see that the
Jews fully understand their Khazarian heritage as the third edition of
the Jewish Encyclopedia for 1925 records: "CHAZARS (Khazars): A people
of Turkish origin whose life and history are interwoven with the very beginnings
of the history of the Jews of Russia. The kingdom of the Chazars was firmly
established in most of South Russia long before the foundation of the Russian
monarchy by the Varangians (855).
Jews have lived on the shores of the Black
and Caspian seas since the first centuries of the common era (after the
death of Christ). Historical evidence points to the region of the Ural
as the home of the Chazars. Among the classical writers of the Middle Ages
they were known as the 'Chozars,' 'Khazirs,' 'Akatzirs,' and 'Akatirs,'
and in the Russian chronicles as 'Khwalisses' and 'Ugry Byelyye.'
The Armenia writers of the fifth and following
centuries furnish ample information concerning this people. Moses of Chorene
refers to the invasion by the 'Khazirs' of Armenia and Iberia at the beginning
of the third century: 'The chaghan was the king of the North, the ruler
of the Khazirs, and the queen was the chatoun.' (History of Armenia, ii.
The Chazars first came to Armenia with the
Basileans in 198. Though at first repulsed, they subsequently became important
factors in Armenian history for a period of 800 years. Driven onward by
the nomadic tribes of the steppes and by their own desire for plunder and
revenge, they made frequent invasions into Armenia. The latter country
was made the battle-ground in the long struggle between the Romans and
This struggle, which finally resulted in the
loss by Armenia of her independence, paved the way for the political importance
of the Chazars. The conquest of eastern Armenia by the Persians in the
fourth century rendered the latter dangerous to the Chazars, who, for their
own protection, formed an alliance with the Byzantines. This alliance was
renewed from time to time until the final conquest of the Chazars by the
Their first aid was rendered to the Byzantine
emperor Julian, in 363. About 434 they were for a time tributary to Attila,
Sidonius Apollinaris relates that the Chazars followed the banners of Attila,
and in 452 fought on the Catalanian fields in company with the Black Huns
and Alans. The Persian King Kobad (488-531) undertook the construction
of a line of forts through the pass between Derbent and the Caucasus, in
order to guard against the invasion of the Chazars, Turks and other warlike
tribes. His son Chosroes Anoshirvan (531-579) built the wall of Derbent,
repeatedly mentioned by the Oriental geographers and historians as Bab
al-Awab. In the second half of the sixth century the Chazars moved westward.
They established themselves in the territory bounded by the Sea of Azov,
the Don and the lower Volga, the Caspian Sea, and the Northern Caucasus.
The Caucasian Goths (Tetraxites) were subjugated by the Chazars, probably
about the seventh century.
Early in that century the kingdom of the Chazars
had become powerful enough to enable the chaghan to send to the Byzantine
emperor Heraclius an army of 40,000 men, by whose aid he conquered the
Persians (626-627). The Chazars had already occupied the northeastern part
of the Black Sea region. According to the historian Moses Kalonkataci,
the Chazars, under their leader Jebu Chaghan (called 'Ziebel Chaghan' by
the Greek writers), penetrated into Persian territory as early as the second
campaign of Heraclius, on which occasion they devastated Albania.
Nicephorus testifies that Heraclius repeatedly
showed marks of esteem to his ally, the chaghan of the Chazars, to whom
he even promised his daughter in marriage. In the great battle between
the Chazars and the Arabs near Kizliar 4,000 Mohammedan soldiers and their
leaders were slain.
In the year 669 the Ugrians or Zabirs freed
themselves from the rule of the Obrians, settled between the Don and the
Caucasus, and came under the dominion of the Chazars. For this reason the
Ugrians, who had hitherto been called the 'White' or 'Independent' Ugrians,
are described in the chronicles ascribed to Nestro as the 'Black' or 'Dependent,'
Ugrians. They were no longer governed by their own princes, but were ruled
by the kings of the Chazars. In 735, when the Arab leader Mervan moved
from Georgia against the Chazars, he attacked the Ugriaus also. In 679
the Chazars subjugated the Bulgars and extended their sway farther west
between the Don and the Dnieper, as far as the head-waters of the Donetz
in the province of Lebedia. It was probably about that time that the chaghan
of the Chazars and his grandees, together with a large number of his heathen
people, embraced the Jewish religion.
According to A. Harkavy, the conversion took
place in 620, according to others, in 740. King Joseph, in his letter to
Hasdal ibn Shaprut (about 960), gives the following account of the conversion:
'Some centuries ago King Bulan reigned over the Chazars. To him God appeared
in a dream and promised him might and glory.
Encouraged by this dream, Bulan went by the
road of Darian to the country of Ardebil, where he gained great victories
(over the Arabs). The Byzantine emperor and the calif of the Ishmaelites
sent to him envoys with presents, and sages to convert him to their respective
religions. Bulan invited also wise men of Israel, and proceeded to examine
them all. As each of the champions believed his religion to be the best,
Bulan separately questioned the Mohammedans and the Christians as to which
of the other two religions they considered the better. When both gave preference
to that of the Jews, that king perceived that it must be the true religion.
He therefore adopted it.'
This account of the conversion was considered
to be of a legendary nature. Harkavy, however, proved from Arabic
and Slavonian sources that the religious disputation at the Charzarian
court is a historical fact. Even the name of Sangari has been found in
a liturgy of Constantine the Philosopher (Cyrill). It was one of the successors
of Bulan, named Obadiah, who regenerated the kingdom and strengthened the
Jewish religion. He invited Jewish scholars to settle in his dominions,
and founded synagogues and schools. The people were instructed in the Bible,
Mishna, and Talmud, and in the 'divine service of the hazzanim.' In their
writings the Chazars used the Hebrew letters.
Obadiah was succeeded by his son Hezekiah;
the latter by his son Manasseh; Mannaseh by Hanukkah, a Succession brother
of Obadiah; Hanukkah by his son Isaac; Isaac by his son Moses (or Manasseh
II); latter by his son Nisi; and Nisi by his son Aaron II. King Joseph
himself was a son of Aaron, and ascended the throne in accordance with
the law of the Chazars relating to succession. On the whole, King Joseph's
account agrees generally with the evidence given by the Arabic writers
of the tenth century, but in detail it contains a few discrepancies.
According to Ibn Fadlan, Ibn Dastah, and others,
only the king and the grandees were followers of Judaism. The rest of the
Chazars were Christians, Mohammedans, and heathens; and the Jews were in
a great minority. According to Mas'udi, the king and the Chazars proper
were Jews; but the army consisted of Mohammedans, while the other inhabitants,
especially the Slavonians and Russians, were heathens. From the work 'Kitab
al-Buldan,' written about the ninth century, it appears as if all the Chazars
were Jews and that they had been converted to Judaism only a short time
before that book was written. But this work was probably inspired by Jaihani;
and it may be assumed that in the ninth century many Chazar heathens became
Jews, owing to the religious zeal of King Obadiah. 'Such a conversion in
great masses,' says Chwolson. 'May have been the reason for the embassy
of Christians from the land of the Chazars to the Byzantine emperor Michael.
The report of the embassy reads as follows: 'Quomodo nunc Judaei, nunc
Saraceni ad suam fidem eos molirentur convertere.'
The history of the kingdom of the Chazars undoubtedly
presents one of the most remarkable features of the Middle Ages. Surrounded
by wild, nomadic peoples, and themselves leading partly a nomadic life,
the Chazars enjoyed all the privileges of civilized nations, a well-constituted
and tolerant government, a flourishing trade, and a well-disciplined standing
army. In a time when fanaticism ignorance, and anarchy reigned in Western
Europe, the kingdom of the Chazars could boast of its just and broad-minded
administration; and all who were persecuted on the scorn of their religion
found refuge there. There was a supreme court of justice, composed of seven
judges, of whom two were Jews, two Mohammedans, and two Christians, in
charge of the interests of their respective faiths, while one heathen was
appointed for the Slavonians, Russians, and other pagans.
The Jewish population in the entire domain
of the Chazars, in the period between the seventh and tenth centuries,
must have been considerable. There is no doubt that the Caucasian and other
Oriental Jews had lived and carried on business with the Chazars long before
the arrival of the Jewish fugitives from Greece, who escaped (723) from
the mania for conversion which possessed the Byzantine emperor Leo the
Isaurian. From the correspondence between King Joseph and Hasdai it is
apparent that two Spanish Jews, Judah ben Me�r ben Nathan and Joseph
Gagris, had succeeded in settling in the land of the Chazars, and that
it was a German Jew, Isaac ben Eliezer' from the land of Nyemetz' (Germany),
who carried Hasdai's letter to the king. Saadia, who had a fair knowledge
of the kingdom of the Chazars, mentions a certain Isaac ben Abraham who
had removed from Sura to Chazaria. Among the various routes enumerate by
the Arabic geographer Ibn Khurdadhbah (860-880) as being used by the Rahdanite
Jewish merchants, there is one leading from Spain or France, via Allemania,
through the land of the Slavonians, close by Atel, the capital of the Chazars,
whence they crossed the Sea of the Chazars (Caspian Sea) and continued
their voyage, via Balkh, Transoxania, and the land of the Tagasga, to India
and China. These merchants, who spoke Arabic, Persian, Greek, Spanish,
French, and Slavonic, 'traveled continuously from west to east from east
to west by sea and by land.' They carried eunuchs, serving-maids, boys,
silks, furs, swords, imported musk, aloes, camphor, cinnamon, and other
products of the Far East.
Hasdai ibn Shaprut, who was foreign minister
to Abd al-Rahman, Sultan of Cordova, in his letter to King Joseph of the
Chazars (about 960), relates that the first information about that kingdom
was communicated to him by envoys from Khorassan, and that their statements
were corroborated by the ambassadors from Byzantim. The latter told him
that the powerful Chazars were maintaining amicable relations with the
Byzantine empire, with which they carried on by sea a trade in fish, skins,
and other wares, the voyage from Constantinople occupying fifteen days.
Vipers - Part 20
Hasdai determined to avail himself to the services
of the Byzantine embassy to transmit his letter to the king of the Chazars,
and with that view he despatched Isaac ben Nathan with valuable gifts to
the emperor, requesting him to aid Isaac in his journey to Chazaria. But
the Greeks interposed delays, and finally sent Isaac back to Cordova. Hasdai
then decided to send his message by way of Jerusalem, Nisibis, Armenia,
and Bardaa, but the envoys of the king of the Gebalim (Goleslav I of Bohemia),
who had then just arrived in Cordova, and among whom were two Jews, Saul
and Joseph, suggested a different plan. The offered to send the letter
to Jews living in 'Hungarian' (Hungary), who, in their turn, would transmit
it to 'Russ' (Russia), and thence through 'Bulgar' (probably the country
of the Bulgarians on the Kuban) to its destination (Atel, the capital of
Chazaria). As the envoys guaranteed the safe delivery of the message, Hasdai
accepted the proposal. He further express his thankfulness that God, in
His mercy had not deprived the Jews of a deliverer, but had preserved the
remnant of the Jewish race.
Taking a keen interest in everything relating
to the kingdom of the Chazars, hasdai begs the king to communicate to him
a detailed account of the geography of his country, of its internal constitution,
of the customs and occupations of its inhabitants, and especially of the
history of his ancestry and of the state. In this letter Hasdai speaks
of the tradition according to which the Chazars once dwelt near the Seir
(Serir) Mountains; he refers to the narrative of Eldad ha-Dani, who thought
he had discovered the Lost Ten Tribes; and inquires whether the Chazars
know anything concerning 'the end of the miracles' (the coming of the Messiah).
As to Eldad ha-Dani's unauthenticated account
of the Lost Ten Tribes on the River Sambation, it may be interesting to
note that, according to Idrisi, the city of Sarmel (Sarkel-on-the-Don)
was situated on the River Al-Sabt (Sambat), which is the River Don. The
name for Kiev, as given by Constantine Porphyrogenitus, is also Sambatas.
These appellations of the River Don and of the city of Kiev point evidently
to Jewish-Chazar influences.
A complete account of the correspondence between,
Hasdai and King Joseph, has been written by A. Harkavy, one of the leading
authorities on the history of the Chazars, from which the following is,
in substance, an extract: 'The Chazarian correspondence was first published
in the work 'Kol-Mebasser' of Isaac Akrish (Constantinople, 1577), into
whose hands these documents came while on a voyage from Egypt to Constantinople.
He published them with the view of proving
that even after the destruction of Jerusalem the Jews still had their own
country, in accordance with the well-known passage in Genesis xlix.10,
'the scepter shall not depart from Judah.' Among European scholars Johann
Buxtorf, the son, was the first to become interested in the Chazarian letters,
which he printed together with the text of Akrish in his Latin translation
of 'Cuzari' (Basel, 1660).
Buxtorf believed that the letters themselves
and the entire history of the Chazarian kingdom were but fable, for the
reason that no seafarers, merchants, or other travelers had brought any
information concerning such a flourishing kingdom as that of the Chazars
was reputed to be. The learned Orientalist D'Herbelot, misled by a wrong
conception of the 'Cuzari' and its relation tot he conversion of the Chazars
to Judaism, leaves the authenticity of the correspondence an open question.
One of the greatest scholars of the 17th century,
Samuel Bochart, in his derivation of the name of the Chazars, introduces
the account of Joseph ben Gorion (Yostpon), and in his notes to the 'Yuhasin'
of Zacute gives information about the Chazarian kingdom and the Sea of
the Chazars obtained from the 'Geographia Nubiensis' of the Arabian writer
Idrisi (12th century).
Pochart's views, however, are not important
because he had no knowledge of the 'Cuzari' or of the Chazarian letters.
All the skeptics of that time and those mentioned below had no knowledge
of the facts concerning the Chazars and Chazarian Judaism as contained
in Slavonic Russian sources, or of the 'Acts Sanctorum,' which discusses
those sources. It is therefore not surprising that the first author of
a comprehensive history of the Jews, Basnage, who in his 'Histoire des
Jifs,' v. 446, Rotterdam, 1707, prints the Chazarian letters, has the boldness
to declare as idle fancy, not only the kingdom of the Chazars, but even
the existence of the Chazarian people, which was invented, he considers,
by Jewish boastfulness.
About the same time Dom Augustine Calmet issued
his Biblical researches, part of which treats of 'the country whither the
Ten Tribes were led away and where the said tribes now live.' Calmet considers
Media near the Caspian Sea to be 'the country,' and that it is also identical
with 'the country of the Chazars,' which was glorified so much in the rabbinical
writings. According to them the czar of the Chazars adopted the Jewish
religion in the eight century. Calmet, however, considers the whole story
Baratier, 'the remarkable child,' also considered
the story of the Chazars to be only a pleasing novel; but it may serve
as an excuse for his opinion that when he wrote his work he was only eleven
years of age. The Danish historiographer Frederick Suhm, who in 1779 wrote
a remarkable work, for that time, on the Chazars, and who could not free
himself from the view of the Hebraists of the time with regard to the letter
of King Joseph, was the first to give a decided opinion in favor of the
genuineness of the letter of Hasdai.
The ignorance of these writers is accounted
for by the fact that only at the end of the eighteenth century, were translations
of the old Arabic writers, Mas'udi, Istakhri, Ibn Haukal, etc., on the
Chazars, issued. The first to make use of the testimony of the Arabic writers
to corroborate the accounts of the Jewish writers on the Chazars, was the
Lithuanian historian Tadeusz Czacki, who had the advantage of using copies
of the Arabic manuscripts relating to the subject in the Library of Paris.
The Russian historian karamsin also made use of Mas'udi's information,
given in the 'Chrestomathy' of Silvestre de Sacy, and of Abulfeda's researches
published in the fifth volume of Busching's 'Historical Magazine.'
The Russian academician Ch. Fr�hn and
the Swedish scholar D'Ohsson collected and published, in the first quarter
of the nineteenth century, all the Arabic testimony on the subject of the
Chazars known at that time. The authenticity of the letter of King Joseph
has, however, since been fully established by the very material which those
scholars had at their disposal, Fr�hu acknowledges the genuineness
of Hasdai's letter, but not that of King Joseph. In the same way D'Ohsson,
although he found the information of the Arabic and Byzantine writers in
conformity with the contents of the Chazar letters, could not help doubting
its genuiness. This may be explained by the fact that as they did not understand
Hebrew they did not care to commit themselves on a question which lay outside
of their field of investigation. But the Jewish scholars had no doubts
whatever as to the genuineness of the Chazarian documents, especially since
the beginning of the critical school of Rapoport and Zunz. They were made
use of by many writers in Spain in the twelfth century; as, for instance,
by Judah ha-Levi (1140), who displayed a close acquaintance with the contents
of King Joseph's epistle, and by the historian Abraham ibn Daud of Toledo
(1160), who distinctly refers to the same letter.
Later on, with the persecutions which ended
with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, the Chazarian documents, together
with many other treasures of medieval Jewish literature, were lost to the
learned, and were not recovered until the end of the sixteenth century,
when they were found in Egypt by Isaac 'Akrish. The Jews of that time took
little interest, however, in the history of the past, being absorbed by
the cheerless events of their own epoch. The first reference, therefore,
to the Chazar letters is by Rabbi Bacharach of Worms, in 1679, who discovered
proofs of the genuineness of Hasdai's letter in an acrostic in the poem
which served as a preface, and which reads as follows: 'I, Hasdai, son
of Isaac, son of Ezra ben Shaprut.'
This acrostic, however, again remained unnoticed
until it was rediscovered by Frensdorf, independently of Bacharach, in
1836. Four years later (1840) the genuineness of Hasdai's letter was absolutely
proved by Joseph Zedner. He also acknowledged the authenticity of the Chaghan's
letter, but did not submit proofs. At the same time Solomon Munk gave his
opinion in favor of the genuineness of both letters. Since then most of
the Jewish scholars have adopted his view, including Lebrecht, 1841; Michael
Sachs, 1845; S.D. Luzzatto, 1846-50; Z. Frankel, 1852; D. Cassel and H.
Jolovicz, 1853, 1859, 1872; Leop. L�w, 1855-74; Hartog, 1857; Jost,
1858; Steinschneider, 1860; Gr�tz, 1860 and 1871; harkavy, beginning
with 1864; Geiger, 1865; Kraushar, 1866; D. Kaufmann, 1877; and many others.
A comparison of Jewish with other sources, especially with Arabic, as far
as they were then known, must be credited to E. Carmoly. He began his work
with the comparison of the various sources in his 'Revue Orientale' (1840-44).
he completed it in 1847. Some useful supplements to Carmoly's works were
presented by Paulus Cassel in 1848 and 1877. The results of these investigations
were accepted by the following Christian scholars: Grigoryev, 1834; Schafarik,
1848; Lelevel, 1851-60; Vivien de San Martin, 1851; S. Solovyov, 1851-1874;
Byelevski, 1864; Brun, 1866-77; Bilbasov, 1868-71; Kunik, 1874 and 1878;
and many others. Still there were some writers who were misled by the earlier
opinions, and on the strength of them spoke skeptically of the documents;
as Jacob Goldenthal (1848); Dobryakov (1865); and even the historian Ilovaiski
(1876) (The translation of the letters given by Harkavy is from a manuscript
in the St. Petersburg Public Library. The genuineness of the St. Petersburg
manuscript has been demonstrated by him).
In 960 Atel (or Itil), at that time the capital
of the kingdom of the Chazars, was situated about eight miles from the
northern Astrakhan, on the right bank of the lower Volga, which river was
also called 'Atel' or 'Itil.' The meaning of 'Atel' in the Gothic language
is 'father' or 'little father,' that of 'Itil' in the Turanian language
is 'river'; it is difficult to decide which of these two words gave the
river its name. The western part of the city was surrounded by a wall pierced
by four gates, of which one led to the river, and the others to the steppes.
Here was situated the king's palace, which was the only brick building
in the city. According to Mas'udi, the city was divided into three parts,
the palace of the chaghan standing on an island. The king had twenty-five
wives, all of royal blood, and sixty concubines, all famous beauties. Each
one dwelt in a separate tent and was watched by a eunuch. The authority
of the chaghan was so absolute that during his absence from the capital,
even his viceroy, or coregent (called 'isha,' or 'bek,' or 'pech'), was
powerless. The viceroy had to enter the chaghan's apartments barefooted
and with the greatest reverence. He held in his right hand a chip of wood,
which he lit when he saluted the chaghan, whereupon he took his seat to
the right of the latter, on the throne, which was of gold. The walls of
the palace were also gilded, and a golden gate ornamented the palace.
All the other dwellings of the then populous
city were insignificant mud huts or felt tents. The position of the chaghan
of the Chazars was evidently similar to that of the former mikados of Japan,
while the bek, his military coregent, corresponded to the shogans of the
latter. Emperor Heraclius in 626 concluded a treaty with the chaghan of
the Chazars, and Constantine Copronymus, in his description of the embassy
of the Chazars (834), states that it was sent by the 'chaghan and the pech.'
Ibn Fadlan relates that the king of the Chazars was called the 'great chaghan,'
and his deputy 'chaghan-bhoa' ('bey,' 'beg,' or 'bek'). The bek led the
army, administered the affairs of the country, and appeared among the people;
and to him the neighboring kings paid allegiance. It will thus be seen
that the extent of the powers of the bek varied with the times. When the
chaghan wanted to punish any one, he said, 'Go and commit suicide' - a
method resembling the Japanese custom of hara-kiri.
The mother of the chaghan resided in the western
part of the city, whose eastern part, called 'Chazaran,' was inhabited
by merchants of various nationalities. The city and its environs were heavily
shaded by trees. The Turkish and the Chazar languages predominated. The
entourage of the chaghan, numbering 4,000 men, consisted of representatives
of different nationalities. The White Chazars were renowned for their beauty;
and according to Demidov, the mountaineers of the Crimea contrasted very
favorably with the Nogay Tatars, because they were considerably intermixed
with the Chazars and with the equally fine race of the Kumans. Besides
the White Chazars, there were also black Chazars (who were almost as dark
as the Hindus), Turkish immigrants, Slavonians, Hunno-Bulgars, Jews, who
lived mostly in the cities, and various Caucasian tribes, such as the Abghases,
Kabardines, Ossetes, Avares, Lesghians, etc.
The Chazars cultivated rice, millet, fruit,
grains, and the vine. They had important fisheries on the Caspian Sea,
and the sturgeon constituted the main article of food. The Arabic writer
Al-Makdisi remarks: 'In Chazaria there are many sheep, and Jews, and much
money.' From the upper Volga they brought down from the Mordvines and Russians
honey and valuable furs, which they exported to Africa, Spain, and France.
They supplied the market of Constantinople with hides, furs, fish, Indian
goods, and articles of luxury. The chaghan and his suite resided in the
capital only during the winter months. From the month of Nisan (April)
they led a nomadic life in the steppes, returning to the city about the
Feast of Hanukkah (December). The estates and vineyards of the chaghan
were on the island on which his palace was situated. Another city of the
Chazars, Semender, between Atel and Bab al-Abwab, was surrounded by 40,000
vines. It was identical with the modern Tarku, near Petrovsk, which is
now inhabited by Jews and Kumyks. The latter are supposed to be descended
from the Chazars. At the Byzantine court the chaghan was held in high esteem.
In diplomatic correspondence with him the seal of three solid was used,
which marked him as a potentate of the first rank, above even the pope
and the Carlovingian monarchs. Emperor Justinian II after his flight from
Kherson to Doros, took refuge during his exile with the chaghan, and married
the chaghan's daughter Irene, who was famous for her beauty (702) Emperor
Leo IV 'the Chazar' (775-780), the son of Constantine, was thus a grandson
of the king of the Chazars.
From his mother he inherited his mild, amiable
disposition. Justinian's rival, Bardanes, likewise sought an asylum in
Chazaria. Chazarian troops were among the body-guard of the Byzantine imperial
court; and they fought for Leo VI, against Simeon of Bulgaria in 888.
King Joseph in his letter to Hasdai gives the
following account of his kingdom: 'The country up the river is within a
four months' journey to the Orient, settled by the following nations who
pay tribute to the Chazars: Burtas, Bulgar, Suvar, Arissu, Tzarmis, Ventit,
Syever, and Slaviyun. Thence the boundary-line runs to Buarasm as far as
the Jordjan. All the inhabitants, of the seacoast, that live within a month's
distance pay tribute to the Chazars. To the south Semender, Bak-Tadlu,
and the gates of the Bab al-Abwab, are situated on the seashore. Thence
the boundary-line extends to the mountains of Azur, Bak-Bagda, Sridi, Kiton,
Arku, Shaula, Sagsar, Albusser, Ukusser, Kiadusser, Tzidlag, Zunikh, which
are very high peaks, and to the Alans as far as the boundary of the Kassa,
Kalkial, Takat, Gebul, and the Constantinian Sea. To the west, Sarkel,
Samkrtz, Kertz, Sugdai, Aluss, Lambat, Barnit, Alubida, Kut, Mankup, Budik,
Alma, and Grusin; all these western localities are situated on the banks
of the Constantinian (Black) Sea. Thence the boundary-line extends to the
north, traversing the land of Basa, which is on the River Vaghez. Here
on the plains live nomadic tribes, which extend to the frontier of the
Gagries, as innumerable as the sands of the sea; and they all pay tribute
to the Chazars. The king of the Chazars himself has established his residence
at the mouth of the river, in order to guard its entrance and to prevent
the Russians from reaching the Caspian Sea, and thus penetrating to the
land of the Ishmaelites. In the same way the Chazars bar enemies from the
gates of Bab al-Abwab.' Even the Russian Slavonians of Kiev had, in the
ninth century, to pay as yearly tax tot he Chazars a sword and the
skin of a squirrel for each house.
At the end of the eighth century, when the
Crimean Goths rebelled against the sovereignty of the Chazars, the latter
occupied the Gothic capital, doros. The Chazars were at first repulsed
by the Gothic bishop Joannes; but when he had surrendered, the Goths submitted
to the rule of the Chazars.
In the second quarter of the ninth century,
when the Chazars were often annoyed by the irruptions of the Petchenegs,
Emperor Theophilus, fearing for the safety of the Byzantine trade with
the neighboring nations, despatched his brother-in-law, Petron Kamateros,
with materials and workmen to build for the Chazars the fortress Sarkel
on the Don (834). Sarkel ('Sar-kel,' the white abode; Russian, 'Byelaya
Vyezha') served as a military post and as a commercial depot for the north.
In the second half of the ninth century the
apostle of the Slavonians, Constantine (Cyril), went to the Crimea to spread
Christianity among the Chazars. At this time the kingdom of the Chazars
stood at the height of its power, and was constantly at war with the Arabian
califs and their leaders in Persia and the Caucasus. The Persian Jews hoped
that the Chazars might succeed in destroying the califs' country. The high
esteem in which the Chazars were held among the Jews of the Orient may
be seen in the application to them - in an Arabic commentary on Isaiah
ascribed by some to Saadia, and by others to Benjamin Nahawandi - of Isaiah
xlvii.14: 'The Lord hath love him.' 'This,' says the commentary, 'refers
to the Chazars, who will go and destroy Babel'; i.e. Babylonia, a name
used to designate the country of the Arabs.
The chaghans of the Chazars, in their turn,
took great interest in and protected their coreligionists, the Jews. When
one of the chaghans receive information (c. 921) that the Mohammedans had
destroyed a synagogue in the land of Babung (according to Harkavy the market
of Camomile in Atel is meant), he gave orders that the minaret, of the
mosque, in his capitol should be broken off, and the muezzin executed.
He declared that he would have destroyed all the mosques in the country,
had he not been afraid that the Mohammedans would in turn destroy all the
synagogues in their lands. In the conquest of Hungary by the Magyars (889)
the Chazars rendered considerable assistance. They had, however, settled
in Pannonia before the arrival of the Magyars. This is evident from the
names of such places as Kozar and Kis-Kozard in the N grad, and Great-Kozar
and R�czkozar in the Baranya district.
Mas'udi relates the following particulars concerning
the Chazars in connection with Russian invasions of Tabaristan and neighboring
countries: 'After the year 300 of the Hegira (913-914), five hundred Russian
(Northmen's) ships, every one of which had a hundred men on board, came
to the estuary of the Don, which opens into the Pontus, and is in communication
with the river of the Chazars, the Volga. The king of the Chazars keeps
a garrison on this side of the estuary with efficient, warlike equipment
to exclude any other power from its passage. The king of the Chazars himself
frequently takes the field against them if this garrison is too weak.
When the Russian vessels reached the fort they
sent to the king of the Chazars to ask his permission to pass through his
dominions, promising him half the plunder which they might take from the
nations who lived on the coast of this sea. He gave them leave. They entered
the country, and continuing their voyage up the River Don as far as the
river of the Chazars, they went down this river past the town of Atel and
entered through its mouth into the sea of the Chazars. They spread over
el-Jil, ed-Dailem, Tabaristan, Aboskum, which is the name for the coast
of Jordjan, the Naphtha country, and toward Aderbijan, the town of Ardobil,
which is in Aderbijan, and about three days' journey from the sea. The
nations on the coast had no means of repelling the Russians, although they
had put themselves in a state of defense; for the inhabitants of the coast
of this sea are well civilized. When the Russians had secured their booty
and captives, they sailed to the mouth of the river of the Chazars and
sent messengers with money and spoils to the king, in conformity with the
stipulations they had made. The Larissians and other Moslems in the country
of the Chazars heard of the attack of the Russians, and they said to their
king: 'The Russians have invaded the country of our Moslem brothers; they
have shed their blood and made their wives and children captives, as they
are unable to resist; permit us to oppose them.' The Moslem army, which
numbered about 15,000 took the field and fought for three days. The Russians
were put to the sword, many being drowned, and only 5,000 escaping. These
were slain by the Burtas and by the Moslems of Targhiz. The Russians did
not make a similar attempt after that year.'
Vipers -Part 21
Notwithstanding the assertions
of Mas'udi, the Russians invaded the trans-Caucasian country in 944, but
were careful in this expedition to take a different route. This seems to
have been the beginning of the downfall of the Chazar kingdom. The Russian
Varangians had firmly established themselves at Kiev, while the powerful
dominions of the Chazars had become dangerous to the Byzantine empire,
and Constantine Porphyrogenitus, in his instructions on government written
for his son, carefully enumerates the Alans, the Petchenegs, the Uzes,
and the Bulgarians as the forces on which he must rely to check the influence
of the Chazars.
Five years after the correspondence between
the king of the Chazars and Hasdai ibn Shaprut (965), the Russian prince
Swyatoslaw made war upon the Chazars, apparently for the possession of
Taurida and Taman. The Russians had already freed from the rule of the
Chazars a part of the Black Bulgars, and had established a separate Russian
duchy under the name of 'tmutrakan'; but in the Crimean peninsula the Chazars
still had possessions, and from the Caucasian side the Russian Tmutrakan
suffered from the irrution of the Kossogian and Karbardine princes, who
were tributary to the chaghan of the Chazars. The fortress of Sarkel and
the city of Atel were the chief obstacles to Russian predatory expeditions
on the Caspian Sea. After a hard fight the Russians conquered the Chazars.
Swyatoslaw destroyed Sarkel, subdued also the tribes of the Kossogians
and Yass (Alans), and so strengthened the position of the Russian Tmutrakan.
They destroyed the city of Bulgar, devastated the country of the Burtas,
and took possession of Atel and Semender.
Four years later the Russians conquered all
the Chazarian territory east of the Sea of Azov. Only the Crimean territory
of the Chazars remained in their possession until 1016, when they were
dispossessed by a joint expedition of Russians and Byzantines. The last
of the Chaghans, George Tzula, was taken prisoner; some of the Chazars
took refuge in an island of the Caspian, Siaheouye; others retired to the
Caucasus; while many were sent as prisoners of war to Kiev, where a Chazar
community had long existed. Many intermingled in the Crimea with the local
Jews; the Krimtschaki are probably their descendants, perhaps some of the
Subbotniki also. Some went to Hungary, but the great mass of the people
remained in their native country. Many members of the Chazarian royal family
emigrated to Spain. Until the thirteenth century the Crimea was known to
European travelers as 'Gazaria,' the Italian form of 'Chazaria.'...As the
Exile was assumed to last seventy years, in accordance with Jeremiah, this
left 420 years from the Return (537 B.C.) to the destruction of the Temple
(70 A.D.) a discrepancy of 187 years. This is got rid of in part by making
the Persian domination last 34 instead of 204 years (537-333 B.C.). This
was done in order to make the interval between the Exodus and the era of
contracts exactly 1,000 year. Owing to these discrepancies, great confusion
exists in the annals of the Jewish chronicler, who have generally tried
to combine the dates recorded by their predecessors with those of more
recent events, using the era of creation almost exclusively; and it is
dangerous to trust to their lists unless checked by contemporary annals."
(In the subjoined chronological table the dates of the most prominent events
of Jewish history have been derived from Henrietta Szold's "Tables of Jewish
History" in the index volume (pp. 104 et seq.) of the American edition
of Graets" "History of the Jews.")
For events of lesser importance the sources are, in almost every case,
the local annalists as utilized by the historians of the Jews in the respective
countries. Particular attention has been given to the successive stages
of legislation, while only selections have been made from the many cases
of autos da f., blood accusations, expulsions, host-tragedies, and acts
of emancipation, for all of which complete lists are given in separate
articles under the respective headings.
In contradistinction to the usual custom, but few literary events have
been influenced in the table, only those works which have affected the
public opinion of the non-Jewish world having been regarded as of more
direct historic importance. The ruling principle has been to confine the
list to strictly historic events; i.e., to incidents affecting either directly
or indirectly the relations of the Jews to the states in whose territories
have dwelt. Incidents affecting merely the internal concerns of the Jewish
communities have not, as a rule, been included.
Chronological Chart of History
1991-1786: B.C. 12th Dynasty. The Patriarchs.
1776-1280: Hebrews in Egypt.
1570-1310: 18th Dynasty.
1400-1350: Tell el-Amara Period.
1310-1200: 19th Dynasty.
1309-1290: Seti I.
1290-1224: Ramses II.
1240: Conquest of Canaan under Joshua.
1200-1125: Philistines settle in Palestine.
1200-1020: The Judges.
1050: Fall of Shiloh. Samuel.
965 - 928: Solomon. Rezon.
935 - 914: Shishak.
935 - ???: 22nd Dynasty.
928 - 911: Rehoboam (Judah).
918 - 917: Shishak invades Palestine.
911 - 908: Abijah (Judah).
908 - 867: Asa (Judah).
907 - 906: Nadab (Israel).
906 - 883: Baasha (Israel) Ben-Hadad I.
883 - 882: Elah (Israel).
882: Zimri (Israel).
882 - 871: Omri (Israel) Ben-Hadad II.
867 - 846: Jehoshaphat (Judah).
853: Battle of Oarqar. Elijah.
871 - 852: Ahab (Israel).
852 - 852: Ahaziah (Israel).
851 - 842: Jehu (Israel). Hazael.
846 - 843: Jehoram (Judah).
843 - 842: Ahaziah (Judah).
836 - 798: Jehoash (Judah).
814 - 800: Jehoahaz (Israel). Ben-Hadad III.
800 - 784: Jehoash (Israel). Amos.
798 - 769: Amaziah (Judah).
784 - 748: Jehoash (Israel). Hosea.
769 - 733: Uzziah (Judah).
758 - 743: Jotham (Judah) (regent).
748 - 747: Zechariah (Israel). Rezin.
748 - 747: Shallum (Israel).
758 - 743: Ahaz (Judah) (regent).
747 - 737: Menahem (Israel).
740 - 700: Prophecies of Isaiah.
737 - 735: Pekahiah (Israel).
735 - 733: Pekah (Israel).
733 - 727: Ahaz (Judah).
733 - 724: Hoshea (Israel).
727 - 698: Hezekiah (Judah).
722: Samaria captured by Shalmaneser V.
720: Sargon makes Samaria an Assyrian province. Mass deportation
701: Expedition of Sennacherib against Hezekiah.
698 - 642: Manasseh (Judah).
663: Sack of Thebes.
641 - 640: Amon (Judah).
639 - 609: Josiah (Judah).
627 - 585: Prophecies of Jeremiah.
612: Fall of Nineveh.
609: Jehoahaz (Judah). Battle of Megiddo.
608 - 598: Jehoiakim (Judah).
605: Battle of Carchemish.
597: Jehoiachin (Judah). Expedition of Nebuchadnezzar against
Judah, Jehoiachin deported to Babylonia.
595 - 586: Zedekiah (Judah).
593 - 571: Prophecies of Ezekiel.
586: Destruction of Jerusalem; mass deportation to Babylonia.
Exile of Judeans in Babylonia.
585 - ???: Murder of Gedaliah. 6th cent. Canonization of
the Pentateuch (in Babylonian Exile).
539: Cyrus takes Babylonia.
538: First return under Sheshbazzar. Cyrus' edict.
525: Egypt conquered by Cambyses.
522: Zerubbabel governor.
520 - 515: Temple rebuilt.
465 - 424: Artaxerxes I.
460 - 454: Rebellion of Inaros.
428 - ???: Second return under Ezra.
445: Walls of Jerusalem reconstructed under Nehemiah; Ezra
reads the Law.
423 - 404: Darius II.
411: Destruction of the temple of the Jewish colony at
408: Bagohi governor.
404 - 358: Artaxerxes II. Egypt regains freedom.
348: Artaxerxes III deports a number of Jews to Hyrcania.
4th cent. Canonization of the Prophets Section of the Bible.
343: Egypt reconquered by Persia.
333: Battle of Issus
332: Alexander the Great conquers Egypt and Palestine.
323 - 285: Ptolemy I. Death of Alexander the Great.
312 - 280: Seleucus I. Mid-3rd cent. Pentateuch translated
into Greek in Egypt (Septuagint).
301: Ptolemy I conquers Palestine.
285 - 246: Ptolemy II, Philadelphus.
246 - 221: Ptolemy III, Euergetes
223 - 187: Antiochus III.
221 - 203: Ptolemy IV, Philopator.
219 - 217: Antiochus III conquers most of Palestine. Ptolemy
IV defeats Antiochus III in the battle of Rafah and recovers Palestine.
203 - 181: Ptolemy V, Epiphanes.
Vipers -Part 22
198: Battle of Panias (Banias): Palestine passes to the
187 - 175: Seleucus IV.
181 - 146: Ptolemy VI, Philomelos.
175 - 171: Jason high priest.
175 - 164: Antiochus IV, Epiphanes. Aenaeus III deposed
by Antiochus IV.
172: Jerusalem becomes a pholis (Entice).
171 - 167: Magnolias high priest.
170: Book of Ben Sura written.
169: Antiochus IV plunders the Temple treasuries.
168: Antiochus IV invades Egypt, storms Jerusalem; gentiles
settled on the Accra.
167: Antiochus IV outlaws the practice of Judaism; profanation
of the Temple; the rebellion of the Hasmoneans begins.
166 - 160: Judah Maccabee, leaders of the rebellion, victorious
over several Syrian armies.
164 - 163: Antiochus V. Judah Maccabee captures Jerusalem
and reeducates the Temple.
162 - 150: Alcimus high priest. Demetrius I.
161: Judah Maccabee defeats Nicanor and reconquers Jerusalem,
treaty between Judah and Rome.
160: Judah Maccabee falls in battle against Bacchides,
Jonathan assumes the leadership; guerilla warfare.
157: Treaty between Bacchides and Jonathan, withdrawal
of Seleucid garrisons, Jonathan enters Jerusalem.
152 - 145: Jonathan high priest. Alexander Balas.
145 - 138: Demetrius II. Aenaeus IV builds temple in Leontopolis.
Antiochus VI and Tryphon.
145 - 116: Ptolemy VII, Physcon.
142: Jonathan treacherously murdered by Tryphon. Simeon
assumes leadership; Demetrius II recognizes the independence of Judea;
renewal of treaty with Rome.
141: Simeon captures the Accra.
140: Great Assembly in Jerusalem confirms Simeon as ethnarch,
high priest, and commander in chief.
138 - 129: Antiochus VII, Sidetes
134 - 132: War with Antiochus Vii; Jerusalem besieged;
treaty between John Hyrcanus and Antiochus VII.
134 - 104: Simeon assassinated. John Hyrcanus. Latter second
century First Book of Maccabees written. Treaty with Rome renewed.
129 - 125: Demetrius II.
125 - 96: Antiochus VIII.
116 - 108: Ptolemy VIII, Lathyrus.
115 - 95: Antiochus IX, Cyzicenus.
108 - 88: Ptolemy IX, Alexander.
104 - 103: Judah Aristobulus.
103 - 76: Alexander Yannai
88 - 80: Ptolemy VIII, Lathyrus.
76 - 67: Salome Alexandria.
67 - 63: Civil war between Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus.
63: Pharisees go to Pompey and asks help. Pompey
decides in favor of Hyrcanus II. Temple Mount besieged and captured by
63 - 40: Hyrcanus II ethnarch and high priest. Judea loses
57 - 55: Gabinus governor of Syria.
56 - 55: Revolts of Alexander. Aristobulus and Aristobulus.
48: Hyrcanus II and Antipater help Caesar in Alexandria.
Caesar confirms Jewish privileges.
44: Assassination of Caesar.
43: Second Triumvirate.
40: Parthian invasion.
40 - 37: Antigonus II (Mattathias).
37 - 4: Jerusalem captured by Herod. Herod Shemaiah and
31: Battle of Actium.
27 - 14 A.D: Augustus. Temple rebuilt by Herod.
4 - 6: Archelaus ethnarch.
4 - 34: Herod Philip.
4 - 39: Herod Antipas.
A Jewish Chronology From the
Destruction of Jerusalem to the Year 1902
C.E. (A.D. The C.E. is used because of Jewish
hatred of the Lord Jesus Christ!)
6-41: Judea, Samaria, and Idumea formed into a Roman province
(ludaea) under a praefectus beginning of 1st cent. Tiberius expels the
26-36: Pontius Pilate praefectus.
30: Jesus crucified.
31: Jews allowed to return.
37-41: Cahguta. Crisis caused by Caligula's insistence
on being worshiped as a deity. Anti-Jewish riots in Alexandria.
40: Legation of Jews of Egypt lead by Philip to Rome. Until
40 Philo writes in Alexandria.
41-44: Agrippa I. Claudius issues edict of toleration.
54-68: Nero. Accepted Jusaism.
66: Massacre of the Jews at Alexandria. Beginning of revolt
67: Vespasian conquers Galilee the Zealots take over in
70: Jerusalem besieged and conquered by Titus; the Temple
destroyed. Destruction of Qumran community. Sanhedrin established at Jabneh
by Johanan Birth of Zakkai.
72: Judea completely conquered; the 'Fiscus Judaicus' instituted
73: Temple in Leotopolis closed. Fall of Masada.
79-81: Titus. Josephus completes Jewish Wars.
93: Josephus completes Jewish Antiquities.
115: The Jews of babylonia, Palestine, Egypt, Cyprus, Cyrene,
and Libya rise against Trajan.
116-117: "War of Quietus"
118: The Jews of Palestine rise against Trajan and Hadrian;
'War of Lucius Quietus.'
132-135: Bar Kokhba war. Fall of Bethar; Aelia Capitolina
established; Akiva executed.
133: Rebellion of Bar Kokba against Hadrian; restoration
of the Jewish state.
135: Fall of Bethar; end of Bar Kokba's rebellion;
135-138: Persecutions of Hadrian.
138-161: Antoninus Pius. 2nd cent. Canonization of the
140: Sanhedrin at Usha.
164: Revolution in Palestine against Antoninus Pius.
170: Sanhedrin at Bet She'arim.
200: Sanhedrin at Sepphoris.
210: Redaction of the Mishnah.
212: Jews (together with most of subject of the empire)
become Roman citizens.
218-222: Heliogabalus; Arrival of Rav.
222-235: Alexander Severus.
235: Sanhedrin at Tiberias.
245: Dura-Europos synagogue built.
253-260: Valerian. Academy of Nehardea moves to Pumbedita.
286: Judah III., son of Judah II., patriarch, collects
a tax from foreign communities.
306: Council of Elvira forbids Christians to eat with Jews
or to intermarry with them.
306-337: Constantine I.
313: Edict of Milan.
321: Jews in Cologne.
325: First Nicene Council separates the celebration of
Easter from that of the Jewish Passover. Christian Church formulates its
policy toward the Jews; the Jews must continue to exist for the sake of
Christianity in seclusion and humiliation.
329: Constantius forbids, under penalty of death, marriage
of a Jew with a Christian woman, and circumcision of slaves.
337-361: Constantius II. Constantius II prohibits marriage
between Jews and Christians and possession of Christian slaves by Jews.
351: Jews and Samaritans revolt against Gallus; destruction
of Bet Sh'earim.
359: Permanent calendar committed to writing.
361: Restoration of the Temple at Jerusalem undertaken
under Julian the Apostate.
362: Julian the Apostate abolishes the Jew tax.
363: Julian the Apostate allows Jews to start rebuilding
400: Moses, The False Messiah of Crete.
415: Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, Drives the Jews from
418: (March 10) Jews excluded from all public offices and
dignities in the Roman empire.
425: Extinction of the patriarchate. Patriarchate abolished.
427: Yose b. Yose earliest liturgical poet known by name.
438: Theodosius II Novellae against the Jews and heretics.
455: Persecution of the Babylonian Jews under Yezdegerd
III. Jews forbidden to keep the Sabbath.
465: The Council of Vannes (Gaul) prohibits the clergy
from taking part in Jewish banquets.
470: Persecutions by the authorities; Huna b. Mar Zutra
the exilarch and others Executed by the authorities.
471: Persecution of the Babylonian Jews under Firuz (Perozes);
the exilarch Huna Maria and other suffer martyrdom.
476: End of Western Roman Empire.
481-511: Clovis I king of the Franks.
495-502: Revolt of Mar Zutra the exilarch.
499: Babylonian Talmud completed.
500: Abu-Kariba, Kimyarite king, adopts Judaism, and converts
his army and his people.
511: Mar-Zutra II., prince of the Captivity (exilarch),
establishes an independent Jewish state in Babylonia under the Persian
516: (May 14, 15) Uprising against Jews of Clermont; synagogue
517: The Council of Epaon forbids Christians to take part
in Jewish banquets.
518: Persecution of the Jews by Kobad, King of Persia.
520: Mar Zutra III head of Sanhedrin at Tiberias.
525: End of Jewish kingdom in southern Arabia. 6th-7th
cent. Yannai liturgical poet.
Vipers - Part 23
532: Justinian I, decrees that the testimony of Jews shall
be valid only in Jewish cases.
537: Justinian Declares Jews incapable of holding any official
538: The Council of Orleans Forbids Jews to appear on the
street at Eastertide.
553: Justinian Interferes in the conduct of Jewish Worship.
589: Reccared, Visigothic King of Spain, Completely isolates
Jews from Christians. Beginning of the period of Geonim.
600: Eleazar Kallir liturgical poet.
612, 633, 638: Severe legal measures against the Jews in
612: Sisebut, Visigoth king, forces the Jews to accept
baptism or to emigrate.
614-617: Jewish rule established in Jerusalem under the
622: Muhammad's flight to Medina.
624: The Banu Kainuka's, a Jewish-Arabic tribe, driven
from Arabia by Mohammed.
624-628: Jewish Tribes of Arabia Destroyed by Muhammad.
627: Emperor Heraclius Forbids Jews to enter Jerusalem,
and in other ways harasses the Palestinian Jews.
628-638: Dagobert I. Dagobert I Expels Jews from Frankish
629: Dagobert orders the Jews of the Frankish empire to
accept baptism or to emigrate.
632: Death of Muhammad. Heraclius decrees forced baptism.
633: The Council of Toledo under Sisenand, Visigothic king,
and Isidore of Seville, forces converts to Judaism back to Christianity.
638: Chintila enacts that only professing Catholics shall
remain in Visigothic Spain; Jews emigrate. Jerusalem conquered by the Arabs.
640: Omar, the second calif, Banishes all Jews from Arabia;
the 'Pact of Omar' imposes restrictions upon Jews in the whole Mohammedan
640-642: Egypt conquered by the Arabs.
641: Bulan, khan (chaghan) of the Chazars, becomes a Jew.
658: Beginning of the Gaonate; Mar-Issac, head of the Sura
Academy, takes the title 'Gaon.'
694: (Nov.) All Jews in Spain and Gallic Provence declared
slaves; children under seven forcibly baptized.
694-711: Jewish Religion outlawed in Spain.
711: Spain conquered by the Arabs.
720: Omar II., Ommiad Calif of Damascus, reenacts the 'Pact
721: Appearance of the False Messiah Serenus in Syria causes
many Spanish Jews to emigrate to Palestine.
740: Conversion of the Khazars.
760: Halakhot Pesukot (attributed to Yehudai b. Nahman).
761: The Karaite schism led by Anan ben David.
762-767: Anan b. David lays the foundation of Karaism.
797: Isaac sent by Charlemagne on an embassy to Harun al-Rashid.
814: "Capitula de Judefs" of Charlemagne and Ludwig decide
that Jews should not have Church Utensils in Pledge.
825: Simeon Kayyara composes Halakhot Gedolot.
827: Eberard, "Magister Judaeorum" under Louis I. the Pious,
king of the Franks, protects the Jews against Agobard, Bishop of Lyons.
845: The Council of Meaux, under Amolo, bishop of Lyons,
enacts anti-Jewish decrees, renewing those of Constantine & Theodosius
850: Al-Mutawakkil orders the "Peoples of the Book" to
wear yellow kerchiefs.
860: Amram b. Sheshna compiles order of prayers.
875: Nahshon b. Zadok researches on the Jewish calendar.
878: Ibrahim ibn Ahmad Orders Jews of Sicily to Wear A
953: Josippon written.
982: (July 13) Kalonymus saves life of Otto II, after battle
987: Iggeret Rav Sheira Gaon. Rise of the Capetian dynasty.
998: Beginning of 11th cent. end of Khazar Kingdom.
1007: Persecution at Rouen by Robert The Devil.
1008: Persecutions of Al-Hakim.
1012: (Nov.) Jews Driven from Mayence by Emperor Henry
II. Expulsion of Jews from Mainz.
1013: (Apr. 19) Massacre at Cordova by soldiers of Sulaiman
1021: Al-Hakim renews the "Pact of Omar" in Egypt.
1066: Banishment of the Jews from Granada. Jews settle
in England. England conquered by William of Normandy.
1078: Pope Gregory VII. (Hildebrand) promulgates canonical
law against Jews holding office in Christendom. Jerusalem conquered by
1079: Jews Repulsed from Ireland.
1080: Bahya ibn Paquda writes Hovot ha-Levavot.
1085: Pope Gregory VII. protests against Jews being placed
by the King of Castile in authority over Christians.
1090: "Fuero" (decree) of Alfonson VI, appoints duel as
means of settling litigation between Christian and Jew. (Feb. 19) Henry
IV, grants to Judah ben Kalonymus and other Jews of Speyer protection to
life and property.
1096-99: First Crusade; Jews Massacred along the Rhine
1099: The Jews of Jerusalem burned in a Synagogue by the
Crusaders under Godfrey of Bouillon.
1101: The Arukh of Nathan b. Jehiel of Rome completed.
1103: (Jan. 6) The "Constitutio Pacis" of the imperial
court at Mayence assures the Jews of the 'emperor's peace.
1108: Massacre at Toledo.
1117: Persecution at Rome; Appearance of a False Messiah
1120: Calixtus II, issues bull "Sicut Judaeis," the charter
of the Roman Jews.
1124: Ladislaus I, of Bohemia decrees that no Christian
shall serve Jews.
1144: Alleged Martyrdom of St. William of Norwich (first
case of blood accusation; (Ritual Murder)).
1146: Second Crusade; Jews Massacred throughout France
and Germany. Beginning of the Almohad Persecution in Northern Africa and
Southern Spain; Jews flee, or pretend to accept Islam.
1150: Statutes of Aries appoint a special Jewish oath.
1156: Jews of Persia persecuted on account of Pseudo-Messiah,
1159-73: Travels of Benjamin of Tudela.
1161: Abraham ibn Daud completes Sefer ha-Kabbalah.
1168: Latins and Greeks, Jews and Saracens, granted right
of being judged by their own laws in Sicily. Maimonides completes commentary
on the Mishnah.
1171: Thirty-one Jews and Jewesses of Blots burned on the
charge of having used Human Blood in the Passover. Destruction of the Blois
1172: Persecution of the Jews of Yemen. Messianic Excitement.
1174: Sultan Nureddin Mahmud removes all Jews of Syria
and Egypt from public offices.
1178: Riot at Toledo, at which Fermosa, The Jewish Mistress
of Alfonso VIII., Is Killed.
1179: The third Lateran Council passes decrees protecting
the religious liberty of the Jews. (Aug.) Jews of Boppard and Neighborhood
Slain because body of Christian woman is found on banks of Rhine. Jews
Expelled from Bohemia.
1180: First Maimonidean controversy. Maimonides completes
1182: (April) Philip Augustus of France banishes the Jews
from his hereditary provinces and takes one-third of their debts.
1187: Jerusalem captured by Saladin.
1189: Attack on the Jews of London at coronation of Richard
I. Third Crusade.
1190: (May 17) Self-immolation of 150 Jews at York to avoid
baptism. Anti-Jewish riots; Massacre at York. Maimonides completes Guide
of the Perplexed.
1194: "Ordinances of the Jewry" passed in England for registering
Jewish debts, thus preparing the way for the exchequer of Jews. Archae
1195-96: Anti-Jewish excesses at Speyer and Boppard.
1198: Jews permitted to return to France by Philip Augustus
on payment of 15,000 livres in silver.
1198-1216: Innocent III.
1200: Bishop Conrad of Mayence issues a formula for an
oath in German for Jews of Erfurt.
1205: (July 15) Innocent III. writes to Archbishop of Sens
and Bishop of Paris laying down the principle that Jews are bound to perpetual
subjection because of the Crucifixion.
1209: Council of Avignon issues restrictive measures against
the Jews. (July 22) French Jews attacked and plundered; 200 murdered.
1210: (Nov. 1) The Jews of England Imprisoned by King John.
Extortions of John Lackland.
1210-11: Many French and English rabbis emigrate to Palestine.
Settlement of 300 French and English rabbis.
1212: The Jews of Toledo Killed by Crusaders under the
Cistercian monk Arnold; first persecution of Jews in Castile.
1215: Magna Carta of England limits rights of the crown
in Jewish debts to the principal. Fourth Lateran Council under Pope Innocent
III. among many anti-Jewish measures, decrees the Jew badge.
1221: Jews Killed at Erfurt.
1222: Golden Bull of Hungary refuses Jews the right to
hold public office. Council of Oxford imposes restrictions on the English
1223: (Nov. 8) Rabbinical Synod of Mayence regulates the
payment of the Jewish taxes.
1227: Council of Narbonne reenacts the anti-Jewish decrees
of the fourth Lateran Council.
1230: (Dec.) "Statutum de Judeis" in France by Louis IX
prohibits Jews from making contracts or leaving their lords' lands.
1230-32: Second Maimonidean controversy.
1234: (Dec. 10) Jews of Fulda find a murdered Christian;
261 Jews killed in Consequence.
1235: Blood Libel ((Ritual Murder)) at Fulda.
1236: Frederick II. takes Jews of Sicily under his protection
as being his 'servi camerae' (first use of this term). Persecutions in
West France. Frederick II Hohenstaufen introduces the concept of servi
camerae. 12th-13th cent. Hasidei Ashkenazi; Sefer Hasidim compiled. 12th-14th
cent. Tosafot (France and Germany).
Vipers - Part 24
1240: (June 25) Disputation before Louis IX. of France
between Nichoias Donin and the Jews represented by Jehiel of Paris, Moses
of Coucy, Talmudist and itinerant preachers and two others. Disputation
1241: (May 24) Riot at Frankfort on account of a Jewish
convert, Jewish Parliament summoned to Worcester, England. Tatars reach
the frontiers of Silesia.
1242: Burning of Talmud at Paris.
1244: Archduke Frederick II. the Valiant, of Austria, grants
privileges to the Jews ("Privilegium Fredericianum"). Twenty-four wagon-loads
of Talmuds and other manuscripts (1200) burned at Paris. Jerusalem captured
by the Khwarizms.
1246: James I. of Aragon, in the Ordenamiento of Huesa
declares Jews to be "in commanda regis," Council of B�ziers forbids
Jews to practice medicine.
1249: Innocent IV issues bull against Blood Libel.
1254: (Dec.) Louis IX. Expels Jews from France.
1255: (July 31) St. Hugh of Lincoln disappears, and The
Jews are accused of Murdering him for Ritual purposes. Blood Libel; (Ritual
Murder) at Lincoln.
1259: Jahudan de Cavalleria becomes "bayle-general" and
treasurer of Aragon. Provincial council of Fritziar for province of Mayence
repeats several of the canonical restrictions, including the badge (first
time in Germany).
1261: Expulsion from Brabant, under will of Henry III.
of all Jews except those of living by trade.
1263-64: Disputation at Barcelona between Pablo Christiani
and Nahmanides. Jews of London Sacked.
1264: Massacres at London, Canterbury, Winchester, and
Cambridge by the barons in revolt against Henry VII. Charter of Boleslav
V the Pious.
1265: (May 2) Persecution at Zunzig; 72 persons burned
1267: (May 12) Synod of Vienna, under Cardinal Guida, orders
Jews to wear pointed hats.
1267-70: Nahmanides in Palestine.
1270: (June 23) Persecution at Weissenburg. Death of Nahmanides.
1273: (Nov. 4) Jews of Lerida obtain permission to substitute
oath by the Ten Commandments for the oath "more Judaici."
1274: (July 7) Gregory X. issues bull against Blood Accusation.
1275: Jews Expelled from Marlborough, Glouchester, Worcester,
and Cambridge, at request of Queen-mother.
1280: Alfonso X. orders all Jews of Leon and Chastle to
be imprisoned till they pay 12,000 maravedis, and 12,000 for every day
of delay in payment. English Jews forced to attend sermons of Dominicans.
1285: Blood Accusation at Munich. Destruction of the Munich
1286: (June 28) Meir ben Baruch of Rothenburg (1220-93),
chief rabbi of Germany, imprisoned when about to emigrate. Sancho of Castile
in Cortes of Palencia orders Jews to submit their cases to the ordinary
alcaldes (abolition of legislative autonomy). (Nov. 30) Bull of Honorius
IV. to archbishops of York and Canterbury against Talmud. Zohar in final
form completed by Moses b. Shem Tov de Leon.
1287: (May 2) All Jews in England thrown into prison.
1288: Jews Burned at Troyes.
1290: (Nov. 1) Jews Banished from England.
1291: Acre captured by the Muslims; end of Latin Kingdom
1294: (Aug. 7) Bolko I. of Silesia grants Jews "Privilegium
1295: (June 23) Boniface VIII. enters Rome and spurns the
Torah presented to him by Jewish deputation.
1297: "Judenordnung" for Brandenburg.
1298: Persecution of the Jews in Germany instigated by
Rindfleisch; Mordecai ben Hillel a martyr.
1298-99: Rindfleisch persecutions.
1300-06: Third Maimonidean controversy.
1301: Jews Plundered and Slain at Magdeburg.
1303: Ordinance of Philip the Fair enacts that all trials
between Christians and Jews be decided by regular courts.
1306: First Expulsion of Jews from France under Philip
1309-78: "Avignonese captivity" of the popes.
1310: Asher b. Jehiel compiles Talmudic code.
1315: (July 28) Jews recalled to France by Louis X. for
1320: The Pastoureaux persecutions in France ("gezerat
1321: The leper persecution in France ("gezera�mezora'im").
(June 24) Second Expulsion of the Jews from France. Five thousand slain
in Dauphine on Charge of Well-Poisoning.
1322: (Pentecost) Talmuds burned in Rome. Expulsion from
the Kingdom of France.
1328: Riots in Navarre.
1329: Levi b. Gershom completes Sefer Milhamot Adonai.
1330: Alleged desecration of host at G�atrow.
1334: (Oct. 9) Casimir III. the Great, of Poland, grants
Jews "Privilegium Fredericianum."; extends the charter of 1264.
1337: (May) Armleder Massacres at Ensisheim, M�hlhausen,
Rufach, etc. Beginning of the Hundred Years' War. Before 1340, Jacob b.
Asher completes Arba'ah Turim.
1342: Louis IX introduces poll tax (Opferpfenning).
1346: Blood Accusation at Munich.
1348: (Feb. 28) The Ordenamiento of Alcaza orders all usury
to cease. (July 16) Karl IV. forbids Jews being summoned before the Vehmgericht.
Black Death Massacres in Spain and France. Protective bulls of Clement
1348-49: Persecution of the Jews in Central Europe on Account
of the Black Death. Pope Clement VI. issues two bulls protecting them.
Immigration from Germany.
1350: Alfonso IV. of Portugal enforces the badge (first
in the Peninsula).
1351: Cortes of Valladolid demands the abolition of the
judicial autonomy of Spanish-Jewish communities. Jews burned at K�nigsberg
1353: Jews invited back to Worms on account of their usefulness.
1354: Council of the communities of Aragon.
1356: Charles IV grants the Electors the privilege of taxing
1359: Jews recalled to France.
1360: Samuel Abulafia dies under torture on the charge
of peculation. Manessier de Vesoul obtains from King John a decree permitting
Jews to dwell in France.
1364 and 1367: Casimir III extends the charter.
1365: Jews Expelled by Louis The Great from Hungary; many
go to Wallachia.
1370: All Jews imprisoned and robbed in Austria.
1380: (Nov. 15) Riot at Paris; Many Jews plundered, several
killed, most fled.
1381: A synod at Mayence regulates the rabbinical marriage
1386: Beginning of the union between Poland and Lithuania.
1387: Jews Expelled from Basel.
1388: Witold of Lithuania grants charter to Jews of Brest-Litovsk.
1389: (Apr. 18) The charge of insult to a priest carrying
the sacrament leads to the massacre of the Jews in Prague.
1391: (June 6) Spanish horrors begin; Ferdinand Martinez
incites the mob against the Jews of Seville; anti-Jewish riots spread throughout
Castile and Aragon. Massacres and conversion.
1394: (Nov. 3) Third and last Expulsion of the Jews from
France, under Charles VI.
1399: Blood Libel; (Ritual Murder) in Poznan.
1400: Persecution of the Jews of Prague at the instigation
of the convert Pessach; Lipmann of M�hihausen among the sufferers.
1403: (Oct. 25) Juan II. of Castile withdraws civil jurisdiction
1405: Jews Expelled from Speyer.
1407: (Oct. 26) Jews attacked at Cracow.
1410: (Sept.) Me�r Alguades slain on charge of host-desecration.
1411: Vincent Ferrer raises the populace against the Jews
and passes oppressive legislation. Second general massacre of Jews in all
the Spanish provinces.
1413: (Jan. 7) Religious disputation at Tortosa arranged
by Pope Benedict XIII. between Geronimo de Santa F. and Vidal ben Benveniste
ibn Labi; Joseph Albo.
1415: (May 11) Bull of Benedict XIII. against the Talmud
and any Jewish book attacking Christianity. Burning of John Huss.
1419: Martin V against forced conversion.
1419-36: Hussite Wars.
1420: Charges of host-desecration lead to the Putting to
Death of a number of Jews and to the Expulsion of the Remainder from Lower
and Upper Austria. Expulsion from Lyons.
1421: Wiener Gesera; Expulsion from Austria.
1423: Jews Expelled from Cologne.
1424: Jews Expelled from Zurich.
1425: Joseph Albo completes Sefer ha-Ikkarim.
1427: Papal edict prohibits transportation of Jews to Palestine
in ships of Venice and Ancona.
1431: Burning of Joan of Arc.
1431-49: Council of Basle.
1432: Rabbinical synod at Valladolid. Host-tragedy at Segovia,
a synod at Avila, under Abraham Benveniste Senior, provides for an educational
system for Jewish Spain.
1434: The Council of Basel renews old and devises new canonical
restrictions against Jews. Annihilation of the Jews of Majorea.
1435: Jews Expelled from Speyer. Massacre and conversion
of The Jews of Majorca.
1438: Jews Expelled from Mayence.
1440: Jews Expelled from Augsburg.
1447: Casimir IV. of Poland grants special privileges to
1450: Ludwig X. of Bavaria throws all the Jews in forty
towns into prison and confiscates their property.
1451: Nichoias de Cusa enforces the wearing of the Jew
badge in Germany.
1452-53: John of Capistrano Incites Persecutions and Expulsions.
1453: Constantinople captured by the Turks; end of the
Hundred Years' War. Onward, Jews favored as a valuable trading and artisan
element in the Ottoman Empire.
1454: (May 2) Forty-one Jews burned at Breslau, and Jews
Expelled from Br�N and Olm�, through Capistrano. Privileges revoked;
riots in Cracow.
1458: Jews Expelled from Erfurt.
1460: (March 5) The states of Austria demand that no Jew
be permitted to dwell there. Jews Expelled from Savoy.
Continue on to:- Part 25
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